Phoenix, AZ (Vocus/PRWEB) February 14, 2011
Choosing a nursing home for a parent, grandparent, or other loved one is a difficult decision. Knowing what to look out for can aid greatly in the process and help assure that your loved one receives top-quality care. The law firm Solomon & Relihan, which has been working with nursing home residents for decades, provides tips on choosing a good nursing home.
The internet can provide a wealth of information about nursing homes, but visiting the nursing home is critical to making a decision of whether to trust the facility with a loved one's care.
When first visiting the nursing home, there are specific things that a prospective resident's family should check to make sure that the home is the right one for them:
- Smell: Does the nursing home smell all right, indicating cleanliness and proper ventilation, or does it smell like urine and feces? Bad smells can be signs that the residents are not cared for properly, and they can even be signs of neglect.
- The call light: Does the call light work? If the call light successfully alerts the nursing home staff to a problem, how long does it take them to respond? Nursing home neglect starts when staff is too overwhelmed to manage your loved one's care effectively.
- The ratio of staff to residents: When visiting the facility, the ratio of staff to patients should be posted. If it can't be found, the prospective resident's family should ask for a copy of their latest ratio.
- Visiting families: Sunday is a good day to visit a nursing home because so many families visit. Prospective residents and their families should talk to these families and ask them what their experience has been with the facility.
Why Arizona Nursing Home "Quality Ratings" Can Be Misleading
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) gives nursing homes in Phoenix and throughout Arizona a "quality rating" based on information collected in an annual license renewal inspection. Many people rely on these quality ratings in choosing a nursing home. However, they often can be misleading.
Based almost entirely on whatever deficiencies the ADHS employees observe at the time of the annual inspection, the "quality rating" often fails to take into account problems found during previous complaint investigation surveys. The "quality rating" also does not score the facility's compliance with many state and federal regulations. This means that nursing homes can receive a high quality rating even though significant, dangerous problems exist at the facility.
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