It’s a sad reality—but nonetheless real—for many adult children to put their aging parents into nursing homes. When elderly parents can no longer care for themselves or manage on their own, they need someone to dress them, feed them, and care for them. Unfortunately, most adult children are not equipped to properly care for their aging parents and ultimately face the decision of putting their parents under someone else’s care.

Reaching this decision can be stressful and fearful—especially thinking about the possibility of placing loved ones in nursing homes where they may be neglected or even abused. The sad fact is that this troubling thought is actually the reality for many seniors. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, a 2012 study confirmed that one in three nursing homes were cited for violations that did or could cause harm.

Additionally, 90 percent of all nursing homes were cited for deficiencies in 2013, according to the Nursing Home Report Card. The Nursing Home Report Card also revealed that “1 in 5 nursing homes abused, neglected, or mistreated residents in almost half of all states.” These shocking statistics show that seniors are not receiving the quality of care they should be getting while residing at nursing homes.

Finding a Good Nursing Home

When trying to find a place for mom or dad to reside and receive the appropriate level of care, it is important to find the best ones and stay clear of the worst nursing homes. But how can you really know which nursing homes are good and bad?

In order to avoid putting mom or dad into a questionable or bad facility, there are several things you can do, including:

  • Look to the Nursing Home Report Card
  • Use Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare tool
  • Check the reviews on SeniorAdvisor.com
  • Use the ProPublica tool
  • Look at the Florida ombudsman for nursing homes website
  • Check the Florida Nursing Home Watch List

Some of these tools will allow you to see what others have said about their loved one’s experience at a certain facility, and other tools will inform you whether or not a facility has violated regulations. Even still, some sites will show you which facilities in your area have the most deficiencies and fines. By using these tools, you will be a more informed consumer and be able to stay clear of the worst nursing homes for your loved one.

Contact Attorney David M. Benenfeld if you feel your loved one has suffered abuse or improper care in a nursing facility.