Choose the Best Nursing Home for Your Loved One

Moving an elderly family member to a nursing home or care facility can be a difficult decision. With a growing number of elder care options, selecting the best facility for your loved one’s medical and lifestyle needs can be a challenge. As nursing home negligence and elder abuse rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to thoroughly research care facilities before relocating your senior family member.

Our experienced nursing home negligence attorneys at Pope & Howard, P.C. want people to find the best possible nursing homes for their loved ones. Here are some valuable tips to help Georgia families choose the right senior care facility:

  • Read what you sign and do NOT sign an arbitration agreement

Many facilities try to limit their responsibility by having residents or family members sign a document known as an arbitration agreement.  This document may result in a resident signing away his or her constitutional right to trial by jury.  Then, if the nursing home is negligent or violates a resident’s rights, the resident or family may not be able to file a lawsuit and must pay a private decision-maker to hear a case.  Often times, these private decision makers are biased and favor the nursing homes in disputes.  If you are given an arbitration agreement (often times hidden in a big stack of papers), make sure you ask questions and don’t sign anything you don’t have to.

  • Choose a nearby facility

Seniors in nursing homes who receive visitors more frequently often experience a higher level of care. Selecting a nearby Georgia nursing home makes it easier for families to visit their senior members. A closer facility can also help families monitor their loved one’s health and treatment with frequent and unplanned visits.

  • Look for references

There are a variety of unbiased and government resources, such as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that review nursing homes. Look online for information about your nursing home options, including incident reports and complaints. Friends and community members can also provide helpful Georgia facility recommendations.

  • Check on staffing

Nursing home negligence and elder abuse often happen in poorly staffed or understaffed facilities. When looking for at senior care home, ask specific questions about how much time residents spend with nurses and nursing aids. Make sure that the facility’s medical policies work with your loved one’s existing healthcare plan.

  • Schedule a visit

After the list of potential nursing homes narrows down, visit facilities with and without your senior family member. It’s important to see the facility at different times to check cleanliness, resident morale, and staff attitude. Beware of facilities that don’t allow tours or don’t let families interact with current residents.

  • Consider costs

Nursing homes and elderly care facilities can be expensive. It’s important that families realistically assess their financial options. If a high quality nursing home that meets all medical and lifestyle needs is unaffordable, consider home healthcare possibilities instead of a less qualified facility.

  • Ask questions

When considering nursing homes for a loved one, there are no dumb questions. It’s important to be very clear about the medical and community options available at the senior care center. Families should also ask about any factor, such as organized outings, internet access, or special accommodations, which might be important to their elderly member.

Finding the right nursing home for a senior family member can be difficult, but also rewarding. Not only do elder care facilities provide medical support, they can also help senior family members pursue different hobbies and develop new interests. Matching your loved one with the right nursing home option begins with thorough research.

About Pope & Howard, P.C.

Marc Howard and Geoff Pope founded the Atlanta-based trial firm, Pope & Howard, P.C., in 2005. The highly experienced legal staff provides families with assistance after nursing home abuse,medical negligencetraumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death. Learn more about Pope & Howard, P.C. online at

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