Nursing homes provide the care needed for your parent, family member or even your spouse. The decision to admit your loved one, is one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make and choosing the right nursing home is of the upmost importance. Nursing homes provide the personal care and medical services that you can no longer provide the person at home. At times, rehabilitative care is needed, with supervision to provide a safe environment.

You cannot check your loved one into a nursing home and go on with your life. You have to remain active in their lives to ensure that they are being cared for according to nursing home law. This means the nursing home provides a safe facility, delivers medication on time, and properly grooms your loved one. You will make the best decisions on behalf of your loved one if you familiarize yourself with laws pertaining to nursing homes before selecting a nursing home or your loved one.

Medicare only pays for a limited amount of the cost of your loved one to be in a nursing home. The regulations state that the person has to be in an inpatient hospital for 3 consecutive days before being admitted to the nursing home. The nursing home admitting diagnosis must be the same as the discharge hospital diagnosis. After admission, medicare will pay for days 1-20, with no co-pay. After the first 20 days though, you will have to pay $144.50 for each day, up until day 100. Beyond the 100 days, Medicare does not pay for nursing home care.

As soon as you realize that you may need to send your loved one to a nursing home, start researching the laws within your state. What Medicare does and does not cover will vary depending on your state. Do your research so you make an educated decision when selecting a nursing home for your loved one.

The federal government regulates every nursing home to ensure proper care of each patient. Once your loved one is admitted, they should be thoroughly evaluated for functional capacity and a plan of care should be implemented. When these guidelines are not followed, the nursing facility may be shut down or issued fines.

The staff is responsible for seeing that the patient’s ability to bathe, dress, groom, toilet, eat, communicate, and ambulate, do not deteriorate. If the patient is unable to do these things, then it is the nursing homes responsibility to provide the necessary services so that the resident can maintain good grooming and personal care, along with good nutrition.

Nutrition is of the utmost importance in nursing homes. The resident is to receive sufficient fluid intake to be able to be well hydrated and must maintain acceptable parameters of nutritional status. Nutrition plays a large role in the prevention of pressure sores and other problems.

What happens if your loved one does develop a pressure sore while in the nursing home? The nursing staff is obligated to immediately address the problem so it does not grow into multiple sores that cause considerable discomfort or pain for your loved one. The nursing staff must also properly treat all problems that develop with your loved one while in the nursing home, and that includes problems with your loved one’s bowels.

Safety is a big issue in nursing homes. Understanding that there will not be one-on-one care, can sometimes be upsetting. The nursing home is supposed to ensure that the residents have adequate supervision, along with devices to help prevent accidents from happening.

Your loved one also has the right to receive prescription medications as prescribed while in a nursing home. The nursing home must deliver all medication on time and in the right dose, and the clinical staff must keep detailed records of all care delivered to your loved one while in the facility. The nursing staff should also take precautions to maintain your loved one’s vision and hearing abilities while they are under the facility’s care.

Your loved one is entitled to a reasonable quality of life while staying in a nursing facility. The exact laws that regulate these facilities can vary by state. Make sure to look into these laws so you can determine whether each facility you consider for your loved one is up to the standards required by law.

As a resident of a nursing home, your loved one has rights and protections under the federal and state laws. They have the right to be free of discrimination and to be free from abuse or neglect. Nursing homes can no longer use restraints and they have the right to complain to the staff without fear or being punished for doing so. The nursing home must by law, address these issues promptly. Investigate the nursing home you are considering, talk with some of the residents, and check with the state for any problems with the home. The more you investigate, the better decision you will be able to make for your loved one.

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