Saturday, May 19, 2012

Choosing The Right Nursing And Rehabilitation Center

Having to stay at a nursing and rehabilitation center is stressful, but choosing a center shouldn't be. With the proper knowledge, evaluating centers for the proper qualities becomes easy. Being condemned to a poor-quality nursing and rehabilitation center compounds the stress of having to stay away from home. Early research allows families to avoid this problem.

Start with the government's rating system for nursing and rehabilitation centers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services evaluate the nation's centers and assigns a star rating to each one. Ratings are based on health inspection data, quality measures, and staffing and range from one star to five. Homes with three or fewer stars should be avoided if at all possible.

Visits from friends and families keep patients mentally sound. A center should be close to loved ones to facilitate visits. The best care available will not be enough for a patient who receives no personal visits. It may be best to choose a four star center close to family over a five star center located far away. Ensure that the visiting hours work for the potential visitors. A facility that restricts visits to times when none of the patient's friends are available might not be the best choice.

Visiting a nursing and rehabilitation center in person is the most important step. A center should have a clean, orderly appearance and a pleasant smell. Nursing staff should be friendly and interacting with patients. Rooms should be large and decorated with patients' personal effects. If patients who seem as if they need help are left sitting unattended, that is a big red flag. Talk with some of the patients that seem eager to speak. They can give insights to how the care in the facility really is.

Long-term care ombudsmen are independent government workers assigned to monitor nursing and rehabilitation centers. Complaints and compliments about centers are directed to ombudsmen. After finding a conveniently located center with a high star rating and a strong performance during an in-person visit, contacting the center's ombudsman provides an objective opinion. An ombudsman will know about complaints that may not be immediately apparent, or be aware of pending management changes.

Nursing and rehabilitation centers are often required after emergencies such as a broken hip or mental breakdown. Starting to evaluate local homes as soon as possible can prevent difficult decisions from being made under pressure. Finding a quality nursing and rehabilitation center is possible with the right amount of effort.

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