Families in Florida seeking a nursing home or an assisted living facility for a loved one may now review online reports of an organization’s history of exploitation, neglect or abuse. As reported by the Fort Myers News-Press, a database of performance reports related to Florida’s nursing homes is available online through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website. A red circle-shaped icon next to a facility’s listing alerts families that an incident of abuse occurred at a particular nursing home.

By reviewing the Nursing Home Compare online portal, families may gain valuable information about facilities approved for Medicare or that are Medicaid-certified in the Sunshine State. Estimates indicate that less than 5% of the 15,000 facilities listed in the database will receive the red icon warning families of possible issues.

Exercising due diligence can make a difference in the quality of care

With regard to a loved one’s long-term care and overall health, families generally fare much better by exercising due diligence before deciding on an assisted living facility or nursing home. A facility’s caregivers may spend a great deal of time with a resident, and developing a relationship with them may help families spot or prevent neglect or abuse.

Getting to know a facility’s staff, nurses and directors also allows a family to take more of a hands-on approach to their loved one’s long-term needs. Keeping a close watch on a relative’s care and treatment may help family members know when to raise concerns or file an incident report with an appropriate official.

A poor facility choice can also be a financial mistake

If a facility has a reputation for providing quality medical care but also shows reports of mistreating residents, families may wish to avoid it altogether. Transferring residents from one facility to another takes time and can use up financial resources, which may deplete an individual’s savings or the assets and funds placed into a family trust. Preserving an elderly relative’s financial legacy is often a priority for many families and avoiding the need for facility transfers may help keep an estate plan on track.