No one looks forward to putting a loved one in senior care facilities or a nursing home. The task of choosing the right senior care facility can be overwhelming. While everything might look good on the initial visit, there are several things you can do to protect your elderly or disabled family members from mistreatment and harm.
Families looking to do their homework can find inspection surveys on state and federal websites on any nursing home in the country. Nursing homes in California are regulated and inspected by a number of agencies, including the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These agencies offer families looking for long-term care both third-party ratings and detailed reviews. On average, inspections on nursing homes happen every 12 months. But they’re not the end-all solution to how good or bad the facilities might be.
The best way to judge a nursing home is to hire a private investigator to make an unannounced visit and conduct a background check on the business. A skilled investigator will be able to give you the big picture on who is operating the facility and their history.
A private investigator can conduct inspections without prior notice, making it difficult for facilities to anticipate a professional inspection. Investigators will typically inspect nursing homes on weekdays, but may also conduct inspections at night, on weekends, and during holidays. Ideally, the client would make it known to the management and staff that a licensed private investigator may drop in to check up on the patient.
The inspection is a pretty simple process. An investigator would show up at the facility and request to see the patient. They would go through a series of questions with the staff to assess the level of security and the safeguards in place to protect patients. They might also interview front desk staff, executive directors, and any long-care nurses involved with the patient. They might conduct an examination of the nursing home amenities. They also would interview the long-term care patient about the level of care and their observations.
Often a private investigation firm will use a rating system to gauge the facility. The system is generally a scale of 1 to 10 in a number of different categories including cleanliness of the facility, how professional the staff is, and the safeguards in place to protect patients.
My agency conducts these types of visits for our clients at no charge. With our four offices in California, we are able to visit nursing homes and long-care facilities to evaluate the facility to ensure our client’s loved one is being cared for properly.
Concerned family members would also be recommended to conduct a background check on the senior care facility. A background check will be able to determine if they have any civil lawsuits or criminal complaints filed against them. The investigator would be able to determine the facility’s consumer public filing and/or any bankruptcies in the past.
Do you have questions about what you can do to investigate a nursing home or long-term care facility? Please let me know and I would be pleased to address your concerns.