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How to find a nursing home that meets your requirements

Many elderly residents of Cook County, Illinois, love their homes and never want to leave them. However, often an elderly or sick person develops a medical condition that requires on-going, skilled nursing care that may not be possible to receive while living at home.

Nursing homes are one option for those people who require skilled medical care. However, choosing a nursing home that meets the needs and expectations of a patient may be a difficult task. Beyond the level of medical care available, one serious concern is the various reported cases of nursing home abuse and neglect can make a difficult decision even more complicated.

Before choosing a nursing home for a loved one, it is important to know the level and duration of medical care needed. A little research will provide information about the reputation of nursing homes located near the patient's home and family. A visit to each facility and a conversation with staff will provide much needed information to make an informed choice.

Quality of care, level of medical staff skills, location, security, preventive care, cleanliness, general mood of staff, food preparation, licensing, certification, costs and payment are all questions that should be answered before making a decision. Discussing the issue with your loved ones, neighbors, friends or relatives can help provide a clear picture of which nursing home would best suit patient needs.

Specific lifestyle questions should also be asked about whether visitors allowed at meal time, the visiting hour schedule, the presence of doctors on site and how special requests are addressed. The patient and family members should raise any and all concerns, no matter how small, with nursing home staff employees. Interacting with current residents of the nursing home-if permitted-might provide candid insight as to living conditions at the nursing home.

Source: Medicare.gov, "Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home or Other Long Term Care," December, 2013

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