“How do can I learn more about the facility for myself or for my loved one?
In my line of work, I get asked this question every other day. People have seen so many negative headlines in the news that they have a tendency to be scared of the word ‘nursing home’ itself. Even though most facilities do not have problems and are staffed by caring medical professionals, there are some facilities who are ‘frequent players’ in nursing home abuse and neglect.
“How can I avoid the ‘frequent player’ offenders?”
The answer is easier than most people think. There is no way to prevent future incidents of neglect or abuse. However, there is a definite pattern of common problems that occur at a relatively small number of facilities on a regular basis.
While researching facilities for oneself or a loved one, I suggest 20 minutes of internet research. Two places I suggest people look to are the Illinois Department of Public Health and Cook County Clerk of Court. These are Chicago-related sites. However most areas of the country have similar sites to review the facilities. Both of the links above allow you to search by facility name to determine if any violations or lawsuits have been brought against them.
If a facility has a violation or lawsuit brought against it, do not automatically discard this facility as being inadequate or unfit. Rather, look and see if there is a pattern of problems or lawsuits brought against it.
While one or two people may have had bad experiences, a pattern problems or lawsuits is telling of substantial underlying problems and should be avoided.