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5 Key Steps to Effectively Vet a Nursing Home for Your Loved One

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one can be a difficult decision. You want to ensure that your loved one is in a safe and caring environment. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are created equal, and nursing home neglect and abuse can occur. In this blog post, we will provide tips on how to vet a nursing home to ensure that your loved one is receiving the best possible care.

Search for the nursing home's ratings 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates nursing homes on a five-star system. These ratings are based on health inspections, staffing, and quality of resident care measures. You can check the ratings of nursing homes in your area on the CMS website.

Research the nursing home's history

Check if the nursing home has a history of violations or citations. You can find this information on the CMS website which provides information on nursing home inspections and citations. Ohio’s long-term care ombudsman and health department are two valuable resources to get familiar with. 

Visit the nursing home

Schedule a visit to the nursing home to see it for yourself. Observe how staff members interact with residents, and if they appear well-cared for. Take note of the cleanliness of the facility and the overall environment. If possible, talk to other families with loved ones in the nursing home to get their feedback. Be sure to visit several times during different shifts to gain the best understanding of the residents’ experience.  

Inquire about staff training and turnover rates

Ask about the training staff members receive and the turnover rate. High staff turnover rates can indicate a problem with the nursing home's management or work environment. Inquire about the ongoing training and education that the facility offers its employees and if the nursing home conducts background checks on staff members before and during their employment.  

Review the nursing home's policies and procedures

Read the nursing home's policies and procedures, such as their policies on medications, safety protocols, and infection control. Make sure that the nursing home's policies align with your loved one's needs and preferences.

Check the nursing home's amenities and activities

Find out what amenities and activities the nursing home offers. Consider whether these amenities and activities are appropriate for your loved one's interests and needs. Also, find out if the nursing home offers opportunities for residents to socialize and participate in group activities. Some of these amenities include:

  • Nutritious and delicious food
  • Engaging social activities
  • Fitness and exercise options
  • Pet-friendly environment
  • Religious or spiritual services
  • Family and community involvement

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one can be a daunting task. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your loved one receives the best possible care. If you suspect that your loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect or abuse, don't hesitate to take action. Call NRS Injury Law today at 855.468.4878, or fill out our online contact form.


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Nursing Home Compare:

Long-term Care Ombudsman, which advocates for residents' rights and investigates complaints:

Ohio Department of Health:

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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