In 2003, 1,500,000 people 65 and older lived in nursing homes according to the US Centers for Disease Control. If current rates continue, by 2030 this number will rise to about 3,000,000. If you are trying to choose a nursing home for a parent or other family member, you have probably learned that the task is daunting. How do you know which is best? How can you be sure mom or dad will get the care they need?
“There are some resources you can use to make a more informed choice,” said G. Grant Dixon III, founder of the Dixon Law Office a firm representing victims of nursing home injury cases. “Your first stop should be Nursing Home Compare,” Grant said. Nursing Home Compare is a tool by Medicare that compares data from all nursing homes and rates them. It can be here. Medicare also publishes a checklist when looking at nursing homes.
Grant has lectured about how to select a nursing home. One of his pieces of advice is simple: “before you decide on a nursing home, visit the facility.” Speaking with the staff AND residents can tell you a lot about what the place is like. Use all your senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, even taste the food – to see what the nursing home is like. If you don’t like it, find somewhere else.