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Choose a nursing home wisely to prevent elder abuse

Often, Chicago and Cook County, Illinois, residents looking for nursing homes for their loved ones just browse through websites for information. However, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) is advising the relatives of elderly persons to be more discerning in selecting a nursing home in order to prevent Illinois elder abuse.

While it is a given that a nursing home's website will feature its quality services, relatives should do a thorough background check on its violations, as well. Relatives can visit CMMS's website, which has comparative data of penalties and citations incurred by nursing homes. However, it may be more effective to look at the nursing home facility in person, inspect the facilities and speak to the personnel.

CMMS advises relatives to check everything from the appearance of residents, lighting facilities, cleanliness, survey record and the frequency turnover of the management and staff. And once the loved one is placed under the care of the nursing home, it is also important to visit the facility during different times of the day. Doing this assures that relatives are aware of the happenings during different points in the day, as well as keeping the staff on their toes.

Choosing a nursing home wisely can make a world of difference for an elderly loved one. It can be the difference between a loved one getting much-needed personal care and being subjected to nursing home abuse. Sadly, there are cases where the elderly are subjected to maltreatment to the point where they suffer from bed sores or malnutrition or they die.

Chicago and Cook County residents should bear in mind that a nursing home and its staff can be held legally liable if an elderly person under the nursing home's care suffers injuries or dies due to negligence. Relatives who wish to file a lawsuit against a nursing home may be eligible to do so when negligence occurs that results in injury or death to a loved one..

Source: The Enterprise, "State and privately run websites aid families in selecting a nursing home," Dana Trismen, July 23, 2013

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