HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- We want the best for our loved ones and settling on the right nursing home is a process that can be complicated and confusing.
Days upon days can be spent researching and comparing, but there’s a website that can help be a huge time saver.
Last year, Christine Lombardo was looking at nursing homes for her husband.
Living in Newington, she wanted something nearby and had a hard time choosing between Bel-Air Manor and Jefferson House.
“I wanted to find out how the staff was, if it was clean,” Lombardo said.
She solicited help from a Facebook group, went to Yelp and Google and found reviews, but didn't know if she could trust them.
“Going on word of mouth and trying to sort out the good from bad. The other sites, just don't always work,” Lombardo said.
After choosing a nursing home, she was still unsure if she made the right decision.
“Our person, going in there, I want to make sure it's good enough to get them better or make them comfortable,” Lombardo said.
She wishes she knew about the site Medicare.gov.
The nursing home compare tool is a comprehensive database of thousands of facilities across the country.
Updated monthly, users can search nursing homes by state, city or by name.
The site covers health inspection, staff and quality measure ratings, all graded on a five-star scale.
“They're doing it from a professional standpoint, they know what to look for,” Lombardo said.
A click further and users can look at detailed investigations and learn, even the homes with five stars aren't perfect.
One was even cited for not giving a resident enough food or fluids.
“You got everything right there about every one of them,” Lombardo said.
The Medicare site is thorough and is the one the state Department of Public Health recommends.
Connecticut does offer quarterly updates on fines and disciplinary actions against nursing homes and nurses, but they're not as detailed as the information on the Medicare site.
“There's a lot of people today, out there that could use that. It would make the search a lot easier,” Lombardo said.
By the end of the year, you'll see more transparency from the state too.
Survey inspection findings with plans of correction will be available for review by December of this year.
For more information, click here.