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How to Choose the Safest Nursing Home for Your Loved Ones

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on October 10, 2016

10% of nursing home patients are cruelly subjected to nursing home abuse each year, and this abuse ranges from neglect to financial fraud and embezzlement to sexual abuse. Many of these cases occur throughout the state of Washington at one of the various nursing home facilities covered by Medicare.

Nursing homes are extremely expensive. Frankly, the costs add up quickly. Housing and meals are only a tiny fraction of the costs. The medication, nurses, doctors, treatments, special medical equipment, and more add up very quickly. As such, a vast majority of nursing home residents rely on Medicare, a government-funded health insurance program, to pay for a large portion of the costs. Due to these insurmountable costs and being restricted to only living at a Medicare-approved facility, many individuals believe that they are being forced into nursing homes that are unsafe and fraught with abuse and unsafe conditions.

In addition, the recent trend in nursing home practices has been toward short-term emergency care. When an elderly patient is hospitalized in the emergency room for an injury or illness, rather than transferring the patient to another room in the hospital after leaving the ICU, the patient will be transferred to a nursing home where he can stay on a temporary basis and ideally receive the same care he would receive at the hospital. These short-term stays are meant to simply improve the patient’s health before sending him home. They are not designed for long-term care or a permanent stay. It is therefore a daunting process to find a nursing home that provides a quality staff for emergency care, as well as adequate medical facilities and equipment.

Finding highly rated nursing homes that possess high quality staff, advanced medical equipment, and more has recently been made much simpler with the creation of Nursing Home Compare through medicare.gov. Nursing Home Compare lists every single Medicare-participating nursing home in the country. You can search by region to find a list or you can look up a specific nursing home. In addition, you can select up to three separate nursing homes in order to compare them. These nursing homes are rated on a variety of factors, including health inspections, staffing, quality measures, and overall rating. A five-star rating is the highest and is coded as “much above average.” You can also view quality measures for both short-term and long-term stay options. Furthermore, you can see whether the nursing home has been prosecuted or fined by the government, as well as general information about its services.

If you suspect your loved one was abused while in a Seattle nursing home, contact the compassionate Seattle personal injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. today to pursue justice. Call us for a free consultation at (888) 228-3860.

 

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