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Best Nursing Homes and Tips to Help Find Them

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The U.S. News and World Report’s July 7, 2009 issue has some very helpful information for those of us faced with putting a loved one in a nursing home. It also lists the 41 best nursing homes in the country. Sadly, none of those homes are in Alabama or Mississippi where I practice. On a bright note, Alabama and Mississippi are not on the list of 10 worst states either. That honor goes to Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, West Virginia, New Mexico, Kentucky , Texas, Indiana and Ohio.

The article gives consumers steps to follow in deciding to place a loved on in a nursing home along with what to do after the placement is made. There is a ton of information. One easy way to access the article is online at : http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/best-nursing-homes/2009/07/02/best-nursing-homes-the-us-news-honor-roll.html

Here are some of the steps the article suggests for families’ to take:

  • (1) Decide if a nursing home is necessary. There may be other options like having a geriatric evaluation for the loved one, look in the community for ideas and help, or hire a geriatric manager.
  • (2) Build a short list of nursing home possibilities: Consider where you are and where the nursing home is. Count the number of nurses and aides as it is an excellent indicator of the care that may be available. Contact a local ombudsman. Obtain state information on the homes.
  • (3) Size up a nursing home by visiting. This can tell you many things. Talk to the administrator and question him politely about the information you gathered prior to visiting. Tailor your questions to your loved ones needs. Talk to the staff. Observe a meal. Observe an activities program. Notice the smell there.
  • (4) Follow up to see how the nursing home does in caring for your loved one. Be aware of an adjustment period. Remember this is long term. Observe special skills. Be firm in your loved ones needs. Work with the staff and win them over. Asked them about problems both in their work and in caring for your resident.
  • The article also gives information on ways to cover the cost of long term care.
  • We all hope to to push back the day of reckoning for months or years.. However, a frail elderly person who may have already fallen and broken a hip or who has been wandering the neighborhood because of progressing dementia must have full-time care. Use the steps recommended and it will help you and your loved one in the long run. We all want to prevent nursing home neglect or abuse. Taking these steps early is a preventive measure to secure good care.

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  1. delpha terrell says:
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    I was a nurse for 30 years in utah you would think with the church running this state we would love and cherish everyone 25 years ago I did a documentery with a local station KSL it was called “out of sight out of mind” it won awards but changed nothing I don’t know how bad it is in other states but the way we treat nursing home patients we might as well rename them concentration camps. my son was only 12 when I made the documentery by the time he was 19 he had full blown Huntington’s he had to be placed in a nursing home because I was a single parent and the government would rather pay these hell holes $4000 a month than make it possilbe for me to stay home and take care of him myself on top of the Huntington’s he was raped by an orderly and had all his teeth knocked out because they restrained him in a wheelchair and he threw himself forward on a cement floor it is sad to say but a good percentage of people in the US just put people away and forget them they talk about the health care system being broken it’s not just the health care system it’s the massive apathy that people have towards thier loved ones we fought a war to free people in concentration camps but most people don’t even visit thier family not even on holidays in nursing homes only people can change this because nursing homes have powerful lobbyists nursing homes are warned before state inspections and they will hire anyone a warm body to work there ,there are some good people who take care of your loved ones but it’s only because they are good people the pay is lousy and if you had your choice which would you rather do serve a hamburger or change an adults messy diaper the ones who really do care are saints but there are very few of those I can tell you one horror story after another. older people are interesting and lonely and if people would slow down and talk with them volluteer so you can see what really goes on in these places than maybe things would change there are administrators and owners that should all be in jail but like the show stated out of sight out of mind, we need to stop looking at whats happening in other countries to helpless people and take a good hard look at ourselves,all I can say at this point is shame on us!