Nursing Home Inspection Reports Crucial When Deciding Which Nursing Home to Pick

An advocacy group for elder care recommends close review of nursing home inspection reports when faced with the difficult decision of where to spend their twilight years or finding a place for a loved one, a decision that is called "crucial."

“Every consumer needs to arm themselves with a lot of information,” said the executive director the nonprofit advocacy group.

“It’s a big decision to make, and oftentimes people are forced into making it quickly, with a loved one being discharged from a hospital and who needs to be admitted to a nursing home or assisted living. I get frantic phone calls all of the time. ‘How do I find someplace?’ We can give them information on what’s geographically close, but the second thing to look at is the inspections.”

In 2008, the Nursing Home Compare website added a five-star rating system and continues to add more detailed information and inspection reports so that consumers can see specific issues. The site allows consumers to pick and compare up to three nursing homes at a time.

Nothing replaces an in-person visit, said a state certification official.“No amount of information that is found in writing will substitute for a visit in person to a facility,” he said. “Family members need to look for themselves and speak to other residents and family members for the best source on the quality of care and life in the nursing home.”

By law, nursing homes are required to have an inspection once every 12 to 15 months. If the state goes beyond that time frame, it can face federal penalties, he said. Typical yearly inspections usually require about 200 hours of on-site time, and the inspections are done by registered nurses. Facilities are required to provide their inspection results in a notebook to guests upon request. For more, read the story.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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