Choosing a Nursing Home in New Jersey
When an elderly adult needs more care than can be given at home, it is time for that difficult and critical decision—choosing a nursing home or assisted living long-term care facility. At The Javerbaum Wurgaft Nursing Home Group it is our hope that, if you are investigating care options for a parent or other vulnerable adult, you are able to make your choice with confidence.
From offices in Mount Laurel and Philadelphia, our attorneys regularly represent victims of nursing home negligence in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We have some suggestions to help your family make a well-informed decision when choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility:
Review the nursing home’s report card
Since nursing homes are major recipients of Medicare and Medicaid funds, they are subject to rigorous annual inspections. Now New Jersey State and the federal government have information available online about every nursing home, stating what problems have been discovered and identifying the actual owner of the home. Go to the following websites for detailed nursing home report cards:
- Nursing Home Compare, the official U.S. government site for people with Medicare
- New Jersey Report Card for Nursing Homes, published by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Make an appointment to visit the nursing home
Contact the nursing home administration and ask for an appointment to tour the facility. When you visit, have questions ready about resident’s freedom, security measures, dining facilities, staffing ratios, and training and hiring policies. Are patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s kept in a separate, secure area, or are they simply isolated and restrained? How are accidents and incidents reported? What are the policies regarding sedation and the use of restraints?
Visit the nursing home unannounced.
Look around. Are the residents engaged in activities, or do they appear to be passive and medicated? Does the home smell like urine or feces? Do patients appear apprehensive around staff? Are aides and nurses friendly? Does the food look appetizing? Are residents being encouraged to eat?
Advocating for the nursing home resident
If you are the primary responsible party for a nursing home resident, it is important to be an effective advocate. Visit often, know the staff, and insist on explanations for any changes in health or behavior. More information is available on the following topics:
- Abuse & Neglect
- Pressure Ulcers
- Malnutrition & Dehydration
- Physical & Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Wandering & Elopement
- Suspicious Injuries
- Nurse & Physician Negligence
- Medication Errors
- Inadequate Staffing
If you feel a nursing home resident has been the victim of abuse or neglect, or the person’s rights have been violated in another way, and would like to speak with one of our nursing home injury lawyers, please contact our Mount Laurel or Philadelphia office and arrange a free consultation. Your inquiry will be confidential and there is no obligation. In most cases our services are contingency-based, meaning our client pays no attorney fees unless we recover damages on the client’s behalf.