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Three questions to ask when picking a nursing home

Picking out the right nursing home for your loved one is very important. You need to find a home that fits his or her needs, budget and also has the least possible risk of neglect or abuse. Below are a few questions you need to ask.

1. How does the staff keep track of residents' weights?

One job of staff is to make sure that those living in the home aren't losing an alarming amount of weight, which could be a sign of diet issues, sickness or other ailments. You don't want to pick a home that is going to neglect your loved one by not gathering the proper information and acting in a timely manner.

2. Do you have a record of recent falls?

If possible, you want to find out how many people have fallen in the last year, what the staff does to prevent these incidences and what procedures are used after someone falls. If they don't do enough to prevent falls or don't have a plan of action in place, negligence and injury could become serious issues.

3. Do you run background checks on your employees?

One of the best ways to avoid nursing home abuse is to properly screen employees before hiring them, specifically looking for records of domestic violence, criminal activities and other red flags.

These are by no means all of the questions you should ask, but they address important points and will get the conversational ball rolling.

If your loved one is already in a home and you suspect that he or she has been abused or neglected, be sure you know your legal options. Just because you didn't ask the questions in advance doesn't mean nothing can be done.

Source: US News & World Report, "Your Nursing Home Checklist," accessed Nov. 25, 2016

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