How To Choose the Best Nursing Home: Nursing Home Oversight
Our loved one's care while in a nursing home is not just left to chance. In fact, the care that our loved ones receive while in a nursing home is highly monitored and regulated by government officials.
Once at least every fifteen months, and more often as certain criteria are met, nursing homes receive inspections by government officials who search out abusive and negligent nursing home staff behaviors.
Extra inspections are warranted and take place for formal complaints made to the state nursing home inspectors and also if nursing homes are considered to be -special focus facilities-. These nursing homes are ones that have consistently performed poorly over the last three years. They receive extra attention and help in hopes of providing at least average care to our loved ones.
When these inspections occur a group of government officials (usually 3 or 4) come to the nursing home and inspect all areas of care. This includes dietary, housekeeping, nursing, administrative, etc. Basically they inspect everything from advanced medical care to petty cash funds. The inspectors, or surveyors as they are more generally referred to, peel through piles of paperwork and stacks of charts looking for any discrepancy in the care that residents of the home receive and what the nursing home claimed to have provided. These surveyors also interview the residents and are willing to do the same for family members also.
If you wonder how you can speak to the inspectors, wonder no more. When they are in the building for an annual survey they post a notice informing everyone of their presence and the expected date of departure. Now this can change as the survey team uncover more problems. But it's generally pretty close. Finding one to speak with during the survey shouldn't be too difficult as there is a small group of them and they set up in a sort of makeshift headquarters during the inspection process. This is so that everyone will know where to find them if they have any concerns or comments.
Don't be the person that is afraid to voice concerns of your loved one's care. There are some positive reasons to putting voice to the surveyors about what worries you. Here are just a few:
The surveyors are an objective outside observer,
You can remain anonymous,
You don't have to speak in front of the staff,
You may just spur the nursing home on to providing top notch care for your loved one, and...
Once you get the concerns off your chest, you may just sleep better at night.
Even when the state surveyors are not in the building you can still take your concerns to them. It is required by state and federal law that nursing homes post the number to these government groups in a public place.
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