When your loved one needs a nursing home, whether it’s for a short-term visit or permanent placement, you want to find a place where they will be well taken care of. A nursing home is for people who can’t be cared for at home and need 24-hour nursing care. Perhaps you know doctors, family members, friends, neighbors, or clergy who have had experiences with nursing homes. They can be a very good resource. You can also do some online research.
There are some great tools online to help you find the right nursing home for your loved one.
Nursing Home Compare
Nursing Home Compare has detailed information about every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. It’s a resource of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which uses star ratings from 1 to 5 and posts recent inspection reports. Click here to go to their website.
Nursing Home Survey Performance Tool
This tool was created by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. It contains information about the adequacy of staffing, quality of care, and cleanliness of nursing homes in Massachusetts. You can visit their website by clicking here.
ProPublica’s Nursing Home Inspect
This is a project of the nonprofit investigative news outlet, which provides more detailed data, including the unredacted portions of government reports, and it puts rankings in perspective. Click here to go to their website.
The next step is to visit any facility you may be interested in to get a sense of how their staff operates and how clean the nursing home is kept. Talk with current residents and their families who are visiting them.
Also, if you need help evaluating a nursing home in Massachusetts there are professionals who can help:
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
A Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate who visits nursing homes and assisted living facilities on a regular basis. They offer residents a way to voice their complaints about the facility related to the health, welfare, and rights of the people living there. An ombudsman works to resolve those reported problems. The Ombudsman Program also provides information about how to find an assisted living or nursing home facility and what to do to receive quality care. Call (800) 243-4636 to connect with your local ombudsman or view a list of them here.
Geriatric Care Manager
They can evaluate the older person’s situation and create a plan of available resources to help the family provide care for their loved one, including finding long-term residential care. Most geriatric care managers charge by the hour. This will likely be an out-of-pocket expense since most insurance plans as well as Medicare don’t cover these costs.