When you choose a nursing home for your parent, you want a place that offers the best care possible. But if you’ve never researched nursing homes before, you may feel unsure about where to start. You fear that the wrong choice could lead your parent to suffer neglect or abuse.

To help you in your search, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have an online Nursing Home Compare tool. A recent addition to this tool can make sure you know about any nursing homes the CMS has recently cited for abuse or neglect to residents.

Nursing Home Compare can help you start researching

The Nursing Home Compare tool on the CMS website lets you research any nursing homes that take part in Medicare or Medicaid. A five-star rating system lets you know how the CMS views each place. You can also search through health-inspection reports for each home to see if there is a history of poor care.

But now, instead of searching through the report, an icon can show you which nursing homes recently had issues with abuse, neglect or exploitation.

A white hand in a red circle points out abuse and neglect

Recently, CMS added a feature that shows an icon next to any nursing homes that it has cited within the last year or last two years for problematic behavior. A white hand within a red circle shows homes that caused harm to a resident within the last year or had improper practices that could potentially cause harm in the previous two years.

So far, less than 5% of nursing homes have the icon in the Nursing Home Compare tool. But CMS hopes that the image will encourage all homes to examine their practices and educate their staff.

Starting the research process for your parent’s needs

Your parent’s care is important to you. As you search for a nursing home, you don’t want any chance of neglect or abuse to their needs. With the new icon on Nursing Home Compare, you have a tool to start finding the best place for your parent.