How to Select the Right Nursing Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Selecting the right nursing home in Ohio for an elderly loved one can be difficult in the best of times. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this task becomes even more challenging, especially with all of the news regarding recent deaths in nursing homes throughout the country. Learning more about how to select a nursing home can give you the guidance and peace of mind you need to make a good choice.

It's difficult to know exactly what to expect when you begin your search for the perfect nursing home for a parent, spouse, or grandparent. How do you decide which facility is better than any of the others? Since the elderly are one of the most vulnerable populations, it is important to consider your task of selecting the right nursing home in Ohio carefully.

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be targeting the elderly, making it even more challenging to select the right nursing home in Ohio. Everyone understands the decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home is a decision fraught with misgivings in the first place. Add to those worries the fear that the facility you select may lead to a loved one's death, and you have a situation making it nearly impossible to resolve with calm.

Questions That Provide Guidance to Help You Select the Right Nursing Home in Ohio

Here are just a few of the questions you should consider asking or finding the answers to when you search for a qualified nursing home:

• How are meals managed?

• What is the ratio of staff to residents at any given time?

• What therapy services are available?

• How is memory care handled at the facility?

• What doorway or social distancing activities are encouraged?

Things You Should Do

You can make the best choice by learning as much as you can about the nursing homes you are considering. Here are a few things you may want to do:

• Look at facilities offering assisted living along with skilled nursing

• Request a look at the health inspection records, including compliance to local and state guidelines.

• Consider having your loved one's physicians weigh in on the decision.

• Visit Medicare.gov/NursingHomeCompare and take advantage of its search tool. t

At Medicare.gov/NursingHomeCompare, you get to compare several facilities on important features such as:

• Fire safety inspection records, includes compliance with automatic sprinkler system quantity, number of fire safety citations, average number of fire safety citations in all of Ohio, average number of fire safety citations in the entire United States, and date of most recent inspection.

• Health Inspection records, including number of health citations, average number of health citations in Ohio, average number of health citations in the United States, number of complaints in last three years, and number of times a complaint led to an inspection.

• Staffing, including average number of residents, number of licensed RN nurse and LPN/LVN nurse staffing hours per resident, number of nurse aide hours per resident, and number of physical therapist staff hours per day per resident.

• Quality of resident care, including for short-stay and long-stay residents.

• Penalties, including fines, dates, and Medicare denials.

Even the best laid plans have a chance of failing. If your loved one has suffered harm even after you went through a carefully guided selection process to find the right nursing home, please do not hesitate to contact a lawyer. Your loved one deserves better than to suffer abuse or negligence from the individuals in charge of daily needs.