Choosing the Right Nursing Home for Your Elder Loved One
Whether nursing home abuse is intentional or a consequence of overstaffing and neglect, the fact remains that 30% of nursing homes in the United States were cited for over 9,000 separate instances of abuse—in just two years! (And those are the occurrences that made it on the record.) Examples of nursing home abuse can range from day to day problems, such as untreated bed sores and medication errors, to grave misconduct, including deliberate financial exploitation or physical abuse.
Judging from these unfortunate statistics, choosing the right nursing home for your elder loved one is more important than ever. By following some of these basic guidelines, you can ensure that your parent or grandparent is in the care of a responsible, loving, and supportive elder care facility.
Choose a Convenient Location
The best nursing home in the world won’t work for your elder loved one if it is too far from family. Before you start visiting nursing homes, pick a handful of facilities that are as close to as many family members as possible. A nursing home may be able to care for your parent or grandparent’s medical needs, but your elder loved one will still need a strong support network. If the facility is more than a day’s travel away, it’s too far.
Ask the Right Questions
Before you visit a potential nursing home, draft a list of questions regarding medical practices, health and safety, staffing, nutrition, and any other pertinent details. With a physical checklist, you’re less likely to be sidetracked or overlook important questions and concerns about your elder loved one’s care.
During your visit, schedule time to speak directly with the nursing home director as well as the staff. Ask the director how each facility handles basic issues such as nutrition, toileting, accidents, staffing, and medical care, and ask for any and all documentation pertaining to health inspections.
When you speak with the staff nurses, be sure to ask about their daily workload and activities. Many nursing homes knowingly accept more residents than they are able to care for, making it difficult for your elder loved one to receive individualized care and attention.
And remember—if you’re not satisfied with the answers, keep looking!
Pay Attention to the Details
You can learn a lot about a nursing home by asking questions, but you can learn even more by observing daily activities and behavior. If you notice that an elder care facility relies heavily on temporary nurses or suffers from staff turnover, then residents probably aren’t getting the individualized care that they deserve.
As you tour the facility, look for other signs of personal care. Do nurses and staff members refer to members by name? Do they knock before entering a resident’s room? Although they may seem small, these details can tell you a lot about how a potential nursing home cares for its residents.
Nursing Home Liability at Pope & Howard, P.C.
If your elder loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of nursing home facility, contact Pope & Howard, P.C. at (404) 885-9999 to schedule your consultation. Armed with an insider’s knowledge of federal and state regulations governing nursing homes, Atlanta’s leading nursing home abuse firm can provide the expert representation you and your elder loved one deserve.