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Potential for nursing home errors difficult to spot


Winter is a hard month for people who live in Pennsylvania. From shoveling out from snowstorms to paying down high heating bills to commuting to jobs on icy roads, winter months pose challenges to area residents that just do not exist during other times of year. During these rough months, some individuals discover that they are no longer able to take care of themselves and then have to make the difficult decision to move into nursing home or long-term care facilities.

Choosing the right nursing home can be a very difficult process. For individuals who have never gone through the process before it can be impossible to know where to start. It can also be very challenging to tell the difference between a solid, caring facility and one that may exercise negligence with regard to its residents and the care it claims to offer.

The federal government offers some services for individuals who seek to research care facilities in their areas. On its Medicare.gov site, the government offers a "Nursing Home Compare" tool. Additionally, there are private advisers working within Pennsylvania who can inform families about nursing homes and other facilities available for long-term residency. Exercising due diligence with regard to selecting a nursing home is important; with nearly 700 nursing homes currently operating within the state, it can be hard to identify which ones are providing the best possible care.

There are other resources that individuals can utilize to ensure that they are making good decisions regarding nursing home care. However, even the most careful decisions cannot guarantee avoidance of nursing home injury at long-term care facilities. When a potential nursing home error results in a person experiencing harm, that person may have rights to compensation for the recovery of his or her injuries.

Source: witf.org, "Avoid the guessing game in search for nursing home," Halle Stockton, Dec. 17, 2014

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