When it comes time to find a nursing home in Alabama for a loved one that can no longer care for themselves, the choice can be daunting. With so many homes to choose from and so many horror stories of elder abuse and neglect in some, it is important that you do your research before choosing. Fortunately, Medicare,gov provides a find and compare feature for every state and gives you a few other things to consider in the nursing home checklist.

First, you should determine if the facility is Medicaid or Medicare certified. Does it have the level of care you need and is there space for your loved one? You may also want to consider if the home is close enough for friends and family to visit regularly.

Second, pay attention to the appearance of the residents when you visit. Are they well groomed, clean and dressed appropriately for the time of day and the season? Check the living spaces to determine if they are well kept and clean, have good lighting and medium noise levels.

Third, speak to and examine the staff and how they interact with the patients. Discuss their training processes and continuing education programs. Ask simple questions about everything from how the staff conducts themselves when entering patient rooms to how they dress.

Next, check the rooms of the residents and other common areas like the bathrooms, lounges, stairs and hallways. Is everything clearly marked and well lighted? Are the menus and food nutritious and healthy? Discuss the activities the facility hosts and ask about an active volunteer program.

Finally, it is time to consider the care and safety of the patient, which is perhaps the most important step. If there an emergency evacuation plan? Are there any sanctions or marks against the nursing home by the government? These are questions every family member should ask before choosing a facility for someone they love.

This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.