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The experience of transitioning a family member to a nursing home can be overwhelming at first. For families who have never done this before, they will have many questions because they want to make sure their family member will be taken care. Normal questions for families include:

  • What is the cost of the nursing homes in my area?
  • Are nursing homes safe?
  • What are the risks of living in a nursing home?
  • How do I know my family member will be safe from abuse?
  • How many nurses will be working at any time?
  • What federal and state laws protect my family member?
  • What legal rights do the resident and the resident’s family have?

At the same time, you and your family will also have to ask yourselves a few questions such as:

  • What level of care does our family member need?
  • Does our family member have any illnesses or conditions that require special attention?
  • How often will we be able to visit the nursing home?
  • Can we afford to move our family member to a nursing home?

Here is a list of resources that will help you answer all of these questions and give you more information about nursing homes. Entrusting your care of a loved one to a stranger is very difficult and it is important to have as much information as you can.

Nursing Home Reform Act

The Institute of Medicine completed a study in the 1980’s that revealed an alarming amount of abuse and neglect occurs in nursing homes across the country. There was a public outcry after this research because it confirmed many people’s fears about the quality of life in nursing homes. The federal government passed comprehensive reform of the industry in order to better protect the health, safety, and rights of the patients and their families.

Types of Nursing Home Employees

Nursing homes employ several different types of professionals including: administrators, registered nurses, physicians, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants. Before relocating your relative to a nursing home, you should understand how a nursing home works and who works there. That understanding will also help you as you visit nursing homes and examine their staffing.


Every state has agencies that are tasked with protecting the elderly as well as pushing for nursing home reform. In addition there are also many nonprofit advocacy groups and Adult Protective Services which also advocate for the wellbeing of the elderly. You can learn about these state and federal agencies on our advocacy page.

Removing Patient from Nursing Home

After you discover abuse, it can still be difficult to remove a patient from the nursing home. Many families get in contact with attorneys who can help them navigate this process and make sure their loved ones are safe from abuse.

Finding Nursing Homes

For many families, the selection of a nursing home can be incredibly difficult. Because they have never done this before, they may not know how to find the right fit or what questions they should ask. This process should be taken very seriously, so that you select a nursing home that addresses the needs of the patient but also is a good fit for the rest of the family.

Caregiver Abuse

Sometimes a caregiver will feel overwhelmed when he is doing his best to care for his elderly family member. Caregivers who are beginning to feel frustrated and are concerned that they may abuse their loved one should seek help from elder care professionals.

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