Date 5.16.2024

Finding the Right Fit: Why Nursing Home Research Matters

Posted By: Coker Law

How to choose a nursing home in Florida can be one of the most important questions you can ask. Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision. You want to ensure they receive the best possible care in a comfortable and safe environment. This is where thorough research comes in. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes live up to their promises. Florida, like many states, sees its share of facilities with concerning inspection reports and resident complaints. Avoiding nursing home and assisted living abuse for a loved one can require knowledge, focus and diligence.

Coker Law understands the emotional toll of navigating the nursing home selection process. This blog aims to empower you, the concerned family member, with the knowledge to choose the right facility and protect your loved one. We'll delve into essential research factors, signs of potential abuse, and the importance of seeking legal help if necessary.

Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Home

This should be at the top of your research list. Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) maintains a database of nursing home inspection reports publicly available online. These reports detail any deficiencies found during inspections, including staffing shortages, medication errors, and unsanitary conditions.

Here are some Florida facilities with concerning complaint histories:

  • Avante at Orlando
  • Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Extended Care
  • Huntington Place (Rockledge, FL)
  • North Rehabilitation Center (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • Golden Glades Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Miami

Inspection Reports & Complaint History

As mentioned previously, reviewing inspection reports is crucial. Look for the date of the most recent inspection. Outdated reports may not reflect the current state of the facility. Pay close attention to the severity of any deficiencies cited. Minor infractions like chipped paint are less concerning than staffing shortages or medication errors. Look for a pattern of recurring deficiencies. This could indicate systemic problems within the facility. Lastly, don't be afraid to dig deeper. If you see something concerning, contact the AHCA directly for clarification.

Resident Reviews & Quality of Life Indicators

When looking at resident reviews, look beyond star ratings on search engines or advertisements. These can be misleading or outright dishonest. Seek out reviews on independent websites like or senior living forums. Focus on reviews that mention specific details about the quality of care, staff interaction, and resident activities. Consider the needs and preferences of your loved one. If they are social butterflies, a facility with a vibrant activity calendar is ideal or a very independent family member might be better suited to an assisted living facility.

Facility Cleanliness & Safety Measures

Before planning your first visit, know what to look for. These are great tips for your visit:

  • Schedule a tour during meal times. This allows you to observe food quality and staff interaction with residents.
  • Look for cleanliness in common areas and resident rooms. Mold, lingering odors, or unsanitary conditions are red flags.
  • Check for proper handrails and grab bars in bathrooms and hallways.
  • Ask about emergency preparedness plans. Does the facility have a generator in case of power outages? How do they handle fire drills and medical emergencies?
  • Inquire about resident-to-staff ratios. Lower ratios mean more personalized care. The ideal ratio depends on the level of care your loved one needs.

Financial Considerations

Unfortunately, for most of us, money is an issue. Be sure you understand the cost structure of the facility. Is there a base fee, and are additional services billed separately? Be wary of hidden fees. Ask for a detailed breakdown of all charges before signing any contracts.
Explore financial assistance options. Medicaid may cover some nursing home costs, but eligibility requirements apply. Do you have Long Term Care (LTC) insurance or a rider on your family member’s life insurance that allows for some use of the insurance for nursing home care?

Location & Convenience

Consider how close the facility is to you and other family members. Regular visits are essential for maintaining your loved one's well-being. Think about the surrounding environment. Is it close to amenities like parks or places of worship that might be important to your loved one?

Communication & Transparency:

Ask about the facility's communication policy. How often will you receive updates on your loved one's care? Observe staff interaction with residents. Are they patient, respectful, and attentive? Inquire about resident council involvement. Does the facility have a system for residents to voice concerns?
By thoroughly researching these essential factors, you can increase your chances of finding a nursing home that prioritizes the well-being and dignity of your loved one. Remember, don't hesitate to ask questions and trust your gut instinct throughout the selection process.

Recognizing Potential Neglect or Abuse in a Nursing Home

Neglect and abuse in nursing homes can take many forms, including:

  • Physical abuse (bruises, cuts, unexplained injuries)
  • Emotional abuse (yelling, humiliation, threats)
  • Sexual abuse
  • Medication errors
  • Dehydration or malnutrition
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Unexplained social isolation

Be vigilant for any changes in your loved one's behavior or physical health. Are they withdrawn or depressed? Do they have unexplained weight loss, or are they taking their medications properly? Trust your gut instinct.

What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

If you suspect abuse, take immediate action, removing your loved one from the facility if they are in immediate danger. Report the suspected abuse to the Florida Abuse Hotline (1-800-96-ABUSE). You should also contact an experienced Florida nursing home neglect lawyer. They can investigate the situation, gather evidence, and fight for your loved one's rights.

Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

A skilled lawyer can:help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. Not only will they gather evidence to support your case, including witness statements and medical records, but they will also negotiate with the nursing home on your behalf. If necessary, they will file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your loved one's pain and suffering.

Coker Law - Your Trusted Nursing Home Partner

At Coker Law, we understand the devastating impact of nursing home abuse. We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims and holding negligent facilities accountable. We have a proven track record of success in securing compensation for families who have suffered due to nursing home neglect.

Don't settle for just any nursing home. Protect your loved ones by choosing a facility with a positive reputation and a commitment to quality care.For a free consultation with an experienced Florida nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer, contact Coker Law today. Call (904) 356-6071.

Share This Story

Interested in this topic? Consider sharing this post to your social media channels by clicking one of the logos below.

Start Here

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, let us help. Contact us by phone or online form to discuss your options or work with our team of trial attorneys. There are no fees unless we win your case.

How Would You Like to Contact Us?

uploadmagnifiercrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram