Before you sign on the dotted line, do a litigation search. You might need to enlist professional help for this, but it’s a relatively simple element of your due diligence process. Has the nursing home you’re considering been sued, and if so, why? (Negligence, discrimination, wrongful termination, etc.) Did the litigation conclude with a judgment or an out-of-court settlement?
While you’re at it, you might want to determine whether the nursing home’s medical director—who must be a medical doctor—or any other physician affiliated with the facility has been involved in medical malpractice litigation, and if so, how the litigation concluded.
In the end, of course, you may never locate the perfect nursing home. Experts say that once a decision is made, an individual moves into a nursing home and Medicare funds are expended, it’s all the more difficult to undo the decision and move the resident into another facility. Better a full-court press at the outset than remorse and very limited options later.
Peter Ross Range is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C.