For many Floridians, there comes a time when a family must decide where is best for their elderly loved one to live. Some choose to keep their loved one at home and hire home-based healthcare aides, while others choose a nursing home. Readers of this blog may cringe when they think of moving their loved one into a nursing home, but there are certain aspects of a nursing home that can be checked to help ensure it is safe.

First, it is beneficial to determine if a nursing home is licensed by the state. If a home is not licensed by the state, then it might not be in compliance with safety laws, which means your loved one could be at risk of nursing home neglect or elder abuse. Second, consider whether the institution conducts background checks on employees. If it does not, then the employees caring for your loved one could have a history of elder abuse and you would not even know it.

Third, assess the facility’s environment. Is it clean? Is it properly furnished? Is it well-lit? Are there handrails in the hallway? These features, if present, help ensure residents are kept safe and comfortable. Additionally, analyze the amount of staff at the facility and determine whether it is adequate to care for all patients, including during feeding times and nights and weekends.

There are many more aspects you can scrutinize to determine if a certain nursing home is right for your loved one, including if the home has any previous citations. A full list can be found here. In the end, it is best to be as thorough as possible to ensure your loved one is as safe as possible.

Source: FindLaw, “Nursing Home Checklist,” accessed on Nov. 14, 2014