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Considerations When Choosing a Nursing Home in Kentucky or Elsewhere

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Choosing a nursing home, assisted living facility, or long-term care center is one of the most difficult choices that most of us will ever have to make. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration, including your loved one’s ability to engage in the activities of daily living, the status of the loved one’s physical and emotional health, and the availability of alternative, in-home care.

Unfortunately, the process does not end once a decision concerning the necessity of long-term care is made. The second phase of decision-making involves choosing a particular facility to provide your family member’s care. Again, there are many considerations that must be made in the placement decision.

Beginning the Selection Process

The first step in choosing a nursing home or care facility is to determine the geographic locale that will be optimal for your loved one’s care. Usually, this is the city that will be most convenient for family members and friends who will be visiting the patient once he or she is admitted. Be realistic in deciding the distance that those who will be visiting the most often are willing to travel. Frequent visitation is important not only in keeping family relationships close but also in making sure the loved one is getting appropriate care.

Narrowing the List

Since different nursing homes provide different services, your list should be narrowed down to the homes whose available care options most closely align with your loved one’s needs. A cursory review of services can be done through the individual homes’ websites and compiled lists of rated facilities in a given area. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has a useful site for researching inspection results, as well as audit and investigation information. Once the list of possible homes reaches a manageable level, it’s time to schedule appointments to visit the homes.

Asking Questions during Tours of Possible Homes

When touring a particular home, the first thing to do is to clarify the information that you have garnered about the facility in your previous research, particularly with regard to whether the facility offers certain services that your loved one needs. Then, ask a lot of questions, including: What is the ratio of patients to staff? Are there issues with high staff turnover? What types of measures are taken to prevent falls and pressure sores (also known as bedsores)? Are restraints ever used? If possible, speak to some of the residents of the home, as well as the activities director and dietician.

After completing the first round of visits, your list should begin to narrow. After follow-up visits to the top facilities on your list, it’s time to make the best-informed choice that you can about your loved one’s placement. Once you have made a decision and your loved one moves into the facility, continue to visit frequently and ask questions about the level of care that your loved one is receiving.

To Speak to an Attorney Concerning Possible Nursing Home Abuse

If your family has already faced the difficult decision of choosing a nursing home for a family member and you suspect that he or she is being mistreated, abused, or neglected, your next call should be to a nursing home negligence attorney who can help you determine whether legal action is appropriate. The Bowling Green injury attorneys of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley will be glad to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. Call us at (270) 781-6500 to discuss the merits of your Warren County, Edmonson County, or other South Central Kentucky nursing home negligence case.

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