Monday, March 22, 2010

Selecting Nursing Home - Tips

Take care to read the fine print, do research

Quincy attorney Bernard J. Hamill, who represents victims of nursing home abuse, says family members placing loved ones in the homes should be mindful of their rights and do diligent research.

Read the fine print: Hamill said predispute arbitration agreements, which bar a resident from suing the nursing home, should not be a requirement for admission. He advises against signing such agreements without first talking to an attorney.

“You do not have to sign it. It’s negotiable,” Hamill said.

Stay a while: Hamill recommends eating a meal in the prospective nursing home, taking note of how many of the residents are dressed and up for meals and what activities are available, and talking to nursing assistants and staff.

Check the report card: Massachusetts nursing homes are inspected each year and a report card of the results are online at The overall information available online is limited.

The federal government runs the Five-Star rating Web site, which allows consumers to compare nursing homes to each other and see how they rate overall and on inspections, staffing and quality of care

Article by Jessica Fargen. See article here.