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Maryland residents can use tips to help find a good nursing home

Dealing with aging loved ones can be a sad and difficult experience, especially when it comes to finding them suitable living arrangements. Recently, one columnist wrote about his family's search to find a good nursing home for his family member with a debilitating illness. His article contained advice that may aid families in Maryland and elsewhere when researching their options.

One of the biggest issues that comes to mind when looking for nursing or assisted living homes is the history of reported violations those facilities may have on record. The writer stressed the need to check several nationwide registries that log most of the issues over which nursing facilities have been fined. Some of the search engines he mentioned allow a user to search all homes in a selected area for searchable violation keywords. He did remind readers, though, to bear in mind the severity of the violations and not just the amount. It seems that some inspectors assess fines over such things as basement cleanliness and other seemingly minor issues.

On the other hand, the frequency of nursing and support staff turnover may sometimes indicate that the home's environment may be less than welcoming and stable. The appearance of both staff and residents could be another indicator of suitability and standard of care. Two other suggestions included whether the residents who are physically and mentally capable are given some choices in the daily routine of the home, and whether the staff allows some personal touches in the individual rooms.

One final warning that the writer stressed was to follow personal instincts. Regardless of how much a nursing home seems to meet most of a family's requirements, if something just doesn't feel right, then continue the search. Maryland families are typically motivated to find the best care that they are able to afford for their aging loved ones. Once a facility is found, if evidence subsequently reveals that instances of abuse or neglect, then family members may choose to file and pursue a malpractice suit against the staff or directors who may have been responsible for any harm befalling their vulnerable loved ones.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "5 Traits of the Worst Nursing Homes", Geoff Williams, May 7, 2014

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