Choosing a nursing home: How to tell the good ones from the bad

Many circumstances can prompt a Georgia elder's decision to transition to an assisted-living environment. When an elder is no longer able to function independently, he or she, along with adult children or other family members, may research nursing home services and available residencies. Especially if one has never had experience with nursing facilities in the past, it can be quite challenging trying to figure out which companies provide the highest quality care.

Word of mouth is always a good marketing tool. It is helpful to ask current or past nursing home patients and loved ones of the same what they like or do not like about a particular nursing home. If negative comments outweigh positive ones regarding a specific company, it may be best to keep looking before making a final choice. An elder may have certain needs or priorities, such as those involving Medicaid or Medicare or other financial issues.

Handicap access is a priority in many cases as well. In addition to discussing such issues with others who have experience at a particular nursing facility, it is also helpful to pay several visits (preferably unannounced) to the facilities being considered. A prospective patient or loved ones acting on behalf of an elder can tell a lot about a place by observing how staff interacts with patients and also what the general atmosphere is like. Is it clean? Do patients appear well cared for?

Whether a Georgia elder is still researching his or her options or has already moved into a nursing home, if any issue or situation arises that causes a legal concern or raises a red flag about possible abuse, immediate steps can be taken to further investigate the matter. An experienced elder law attorney is used to handling all aspects of assisted living care. Such an attorney can provide guidance and support to elders and the loved ones who care for them.

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