Did you know that about 70% of Americans will need some type of long-term care at some point after the age of 65? In fact, by the year 2030, 2.3 million Americans ages 65 and older are projected to require some type of nursing home care. Even if medical care is not required for a loved one, long-term care also refers to a range of services and support with everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating, moving around and other self care. With a high chance that you or a loved one will need to spend time in a nursing home, it is important to know what critical factors to consider when selecting a caring and qualified facility. A good place to start is to review the 3 categories Medicare uses to create their nursing home ratings:
- Number of staff: Although nursing homes are required to provide enough staff to adequately care for residents, no federal standard exists to determine the staff to patient ratio. Although Medicare’s rating takes into account that some residents require more time and care, a good practice is to find out the numbers for yourself. Ask the facility for the number of full and part-time staff and how many hours they work per week, as well as the number of residents they have when they are at full capacity. Once you have these numbers, you can determine about how many hours per week or per day are available to be dedicated to caring for you or your loved one.
- Health inspection details: Standard onsite health inspections of all nursing facilities are conducted by state health agencies for compliance on an annual basis unless an additional inspection and investigation is triggered by a complaint. The inspection reviews all compliance and quality requirements for a range of criteria including how medications are managed, how staff interact with residents, and how residents interact with each other. Medicare’s score in this category is based on the last three years of onsite inspections. Although this score is a valuable resource, it should be considered supplementary to a personal onsite visit, tour and discussion with the facility when making a decision.
- Quality measures: Nine different clinical and physical measures for nursing home residents create the quality measure score. The data for this measure is collected from residents at specified intervals during their stay and includes items such as mobility changes, flu shots administered, and incidence of pressure sores. The Medicare rating for the quality measures represents how well the facility is taking care of its residents.
Be sure to always schedule an onsite visit and be prepared with questions as well a list of services you or your loved one requires. Visit more than one facility and compare the benefits and services offered to each other. To compare how each facility is rated for quality by Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare. When looking for a facility that will be responsible for providing round the clock care for you or a loved one, doing research is vital to find out how prepared they are to be the best fit for what you need.
If you or your loved one need help regarding nursing facility abuse, please contact one of our attorneys. In any situation where a patient or resident of a nursing home is seriously injured as a result of the nursing home’s inadequate care, the patient should seek the advice of an attorney. It is difficult to have a nursing home compensate you fairly for your injuries without the help of an attorney.
Even if you feel you are not ready to file a suit, consult one of our qualified lawyers as soon as possible so that you will know your options. We do not charge any fees upfront. In fact, we will only charge attorney’s fees if we obtain a financial settlement for you. If you don’t win, we won’t get paid a legal fee. Call us today for your free case evaluation 1.800.241.9779.
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