Ada-Icon
Required

How to Find a Good Nursing Home for Your Loved One: Elder Law Attorney in Cherokee County, Georgia

Many of us first learn about nursing homes after a loved one has endured a significant unexpected medical trauma and has been hospitalized. Selecting a nursing home is rarely something that is planned in advance. As such, Medicare created a Five-Star rating system for nursing homes to help you understand the quality of each nursing home.

As a matter of fact, when your loved one is going to be discharged from the hospital and it is determined that he/she is not able to return home either for a short time or indefinitely, the hospital has people that are called discharge planners that find a nursing home that will take your loved one. All of this happens very quickly so you are not given time to investigate and evaluate the nursing homes that are available. Thus you will find the Five-Star rating system beneficial. However, I want you to understand how the system works…

There are three factors that Medicare uses in the evaluation process:

  • The inspection results from the past three years which includes the number of complaint surveys and follow-up inspections
  • The amount of nursing staff
  • The quality measures of care which includes pressure ulcers (bed soars), falls with significant injury, reports of pain, and the number of people who receive antipsychotic medications

While the rating system is a good first start when finding a nursing home for your loved one, it can be misleading. For example, the amount of nursing staff is gathered over a two-week period every year. The nursing home may have more staff during those two weeks than they have during the other fifty weeks of the year.

The quality measures that may be acceptable to the inspector may not be acceptable for your loved one. None of us want our loved ones to have bed soars, be injured due to a fall, or have to repeatedly report pain. So a nursing home could have a high quality rating while your loved one has been suffering.

Medicare’s Five-Star system is certainly a place to start learning about the nursing homes in your area, but you can’t stop there if you want to find good care for the ones you love. You can start by going to Medicare.gov and click on the “Quality, planning, & compare tools” blue button in the bottom left corner. You will find a wealth of information about nursing homes and guides to choosing a nursing home.

Once you are armed with all of this information, you will want to visit local nursing homes. Ask for a tour; watch how the staff interacts with the patients. If the staff knows the patients’ names and chats with them while they are performing their duties that is a good sign. Look at the faces of the staff. Do they look unhappy? If so, is that who you want your sick loved one to be relying on? Take note of the smell and cleanliness of the facility. Listen for unanswered alarms or calls. Ask residents and family members how they enjoy the food and what quality of care they have received. If physical rehabilitation is needed, check out the rehab center and talk with the physical therapists.

Choosing a nursing home is a difficult task that is usually required at a traumatic time. The level of care that your loved one receives in a nursing home can have a profound impact on the remainder of their life. Become an informed consumer to help protect the ones you love.

 

Hear From Our Clients
tes-prev
tes-next

“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce