Our clients usually do no sit at home and decide that their health is declining, and they should therefore enter into a nursing home facility. Most of our clients enter into a nursing home after receiving care in a hospital.
The individual may require rehabilitation and skilled care in a facility, but if there is not improvement in the person’s ability to live independently, then that person may have to continue to reside in a nursing home facility.
Often, the social workers at the hospitals will request that the patient’s family decide on the nursing home that the patient may require. Selecting an appropriate nursing home can be a daunting task. New Jersey requires a type of report card for each of the nursing homes in order to assist families in selecting an appropriate nursing home facility.
You can obtain a report card on any nursing home in the state of New Jersey. This information can be obtained through the internet. The New Jersey Health Department has posted the New Jersey Performance Report for Nursing Homes on its website. Their website is: www.state.nj.us/health.
The federal government also has information available on the internet concerning nursing homes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, also known as CMS, is required to have a summary of the last inspection report of almost every nursing home in the country. The federal government operates a Nursing Home Compare. Their website is www.medicare.gov.
To find the ratings for nursing home facilities in a particular area, you should connect to www.medicare.gov and select “nursing home compare.”
I often recommend that the family consider retaining the services of a Geriatric Care Manager as the selection of a nursing home can involve a considerable amount of time. I also recommend that our clients visit the nursing home several times and during different shifts. You are allowed to talk to the staff of the nursing home, and you should observe how the residents are being treated. In fact, it is very important to speak to the nursing home residents and their families when selecting a nursing home.