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Home >> Senior Housing & Long Term Care >> Nursing Homes
 

Nursing Homes

Many resources and agencies are available to assist you in making this difficult choice. Extensive research can be done on the Internet to find nursing homes in a specific geographic area and to check their background. Prevention is the first line of defense. Nothing can replace a personal visit before making your decision.

Bullet How to Use the Internet to Find a Nursing Home

The following web sites have a useful search function to assist you in finding a nursing home in a specific geographic location:
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Medicare "Nursing Home Compare"
This National Nursing Home Database helps you search its database by Zip Code or State. You can find comprehensive and helpful information on local nursing homes.

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CANHR's Nursing Home Guide
This California guide offered by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform helps you search its database by County, name or address using several criteria to narrow your selection. Information provided for each facility includes a five-year enforcement actions and citation history. up arrow for top of page

bullet Personal Assistance to Help you Find a Facility

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Call 1.800.MEDICARE for personal assistance to find the right nursing home based on comprehensive government data about each facility.

bulletCalifornia Registry
(800) 777-7575

Bullet Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home

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Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home
This comprehensive 35-page publication is offered by the Medicare and Medicaid, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site.

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How to Choose a Nursing Home
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform provides a nursing home evaluation checklist can be downloaded and used during your visit to the nursing home. The guide also discusses method of payment, location and special needs.

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Consumer Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home
The National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform  offers a comprehensive guide including helpful resources.

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A Nursing Home Resident's Rights in California
From the California Department of Health Services.

bulletBet Tzedek Legal Services
Very useful information about your rights and laws affecting  nursing homes in California can be found in the Bet Tzedek Web site or in the extensive Bet Tzedek Consumer Guides (including Medicaid eligibility rules).
Dedicated telephone number to order nursing home and residential care facilities consumer guides:
(323) 549-5897 up arrow for top of page

Bullet How to Check a Nursing Home

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Nursing Home Checklist #1
Can be obtained from the Medicare Web site.

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Nursing Home Checklist #2
Can be obtained from the Medicare Web site in pdf format.

bulletNursing Home Compare
From the Medicare Web site offers much more than a search by Zip code and State. Additional search functions let you view other topics such as:
bulletInformation about the nursing home 
Address, phone #, date of last inspection, # of beds, # of residents, % occupied beds, Medicare & Medicaid participation, type of ownership, whether located within a hospital, chain ownership, resident & family councils.
bulletInformation about the residents in the nursing home
i.e.: Very dependent in eating, bedfast, restricted joint motion, with restraints, with pressure (bed) sores, with urinary incontinence, with unplanned weight gain/loss, with behavioral symptoms.
You can select several nursing homes of interest to you and have a comparison chart printed according to each of these criteria. 
For example you could select 10 nursing homes and print a chart showing the % of residents with bed sores in each home compared with the average % in the U.S. and the % in your state.
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Information about the latest nursing home Inspection Results
Date of last inspection, # of deficiencies compared with the number in the United States and in your state, description of each deficiency, severity of the problem and level of danger to the resident. up arrow for top of page

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National Nursing Home Watch List
For each state, list of nursing homes on the Watch List with degree of warning based on actual harm or immediate jeopardy to the resident.
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Nursing Homes on the California Watch List

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California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
CANHR has a Web site including a search function which gives you a list of facilities in California by county along with each facility's history of citations, deficiencies and complaints for the past several years.

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Ask the nursing home to see a copy of the most recent survey report.

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To check a Los Angeles County Nursing Home you can go to the Office of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Health Facilities Division, which is the licensing agency for local nursing homes:
5555 Ferguson Drive, Suite 320
Commerce, CA 90022
Tel: (323) 869-8500

There you can see the complete files related to the nursing homes that interest you. You should narrow down your choice before your visit since the files can be quite extensive and a call before your visit is recommended.
For more information see our Health Facilities Inspection Division page.

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You can contact your local Ombudsman and ask for a recommendation.

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You can contact the local Multipurpose Senior Center and ask for a recommendation.

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Nothing can replace a personal visit to the Nursing Home before making a decision! up arrow for top of page

Bullet Nursing Home Costs

The California Registry Website includes a page on nursing home costs with detailed information on:

Nursing home costs,

What Medicare pays for,

What Medi-Cal pays for,

Long-Term Care insurance,

Financial planning considerations. up arrow for top of page

Bullet How to Report Abuse or Solve a Problem with a Nursing Home

Black and white picture of nursing home patients with sad overtones.
Prevention is the first line of defense.
Nothing can replace a personal visit 
before making your decision. 

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

Criminal Elder Abuse/Neglect in a Los Angeles County nursing home is reported to the Long Term Care Ombudsman at (800) 334-WISE (9473) (or Email ombudsman@wiseseniors.org) and/or to the law enforcement agency where the crime occurred.

The Long Term Care Ombudsman is a free and confidential service that maintains and improves the quality of life for residents in:
bulletNursing homes
bulletBoard & Care (residential care) facilities
bulletAdult day health care centers

The Ombudsman Program can help resolve your problems and concerns about:
Elder abuse and neglect
Resident's rights
Quality of care
Appropriate placement
Transfer and discharge including assistance with appeals
Dietary concerns
Medical care, therapy, and rehabilitation
Medicare and MediCal benefit issues
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care up arrow for top of page

The County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services

The Health Facilities Inspection Division has the authority and responsibility for the licensing and certification of health facilities and ancillary health services.

The mission of Health Facilities Inspection Division is to promote the highest quality of care provided to patients in health facilities and other settings throughout the County of Los Angeles.

The fulfillment of this responsibility requires inspections of health care facilities and providers in order to evaluate compliance. It also requires written reports, which document the division's findings and may serve as the basis for further legal action. 

The Division also responds to citizen complaints regarding health facilities or providers. The Office of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Health Facilities Inspection Division is located at:
                5555 Ferguson Drive, Suite 320
                Commerce, CA 90022
                Tel: (800) 228-1019.

Citations, deficiencies and complaints become part of the facility's record. How to access these records is described in a previous paragraph of this Web page.

For more detailed information about licensing, inspections and citations, please go to our Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Health Facilities Inspection Division Web page. up arrow for top of page

Bet Tzedek Legal Services

The Bet Tzedek Web site and the extensive Bet Tzedek Consumer Guides include very useful information about your rights and laws affecting  nursing homes in California. up arrow for top of page

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform 

CANHR includes a legal referral section certified by the California State Bar in its Web site. up arrow for top of page

FATE - Foundation Aiding The Elderly

FATE is a nonprofit organization providing direct and on-site advocacy in support of patients and family rights. up arrow for top of page

 

Inside This Page

How to use the internet
  to find a nursing home
Personal assistance to
  help you find a facility
Guide to choosing a
  nursing home
How to check a nursing
  home
Nursing home costs
How to report abuse or
  solve a problem with a
  nursing home

Useful Links

Nursing Home Compare
  Medicare database search
A nursing home resident's
  rights in California
Department of Health
  Services - Health Facilities
Preventing Bedsores
Ombudsman
Police in L.A. County

Related Stories

Elder Abuse
small bullet ABCNEWS.com report
  Elderly abused at 1 in 3
  nursing homes according
  to a Congressional Report
Nursing staff
  requirements & quality
  of nursing home care
  2001 CA Report
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This site was first published in April, 2001.

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