Placing Your Loved One in a Nursing Home: Look Before You Leap

It is natural to want to place your elderly loved one in a nursing home facility that is within close proximity; after all, you do want to keep them as close as possible.  However, it is crucial that you thoroughly check out the nursing home before you place your elderly parent or any relative in a facility, so that you will feel comfortable and trust that he or she is getting the best possible care.  At Brown Chiari, our New York nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers know all too well that a huge percentage of nursing homes today are not up to standard, and that residents are often abused or neglected at the hands of those who are supposed to care for and nurture them.  Here are a few things you should investigate before making your final decision.

Background checks.  While some nursing homes hire directly, others use temporary staffing agencies.  Be sure that the nursing home you are considering for your loved one performs background checks and screens employees for any history of abuse.

Licenses.  All administrators and nursing homes should be licensed by the state in which they are located.

Staff training.  While not required, some facilities actually have staff that are trained to recognize the signs and/or symptoms of abuse and neglect.  Those that are trained know how to effectively deal with residents who may suffer from dementia or other conditions that may make them difficult or aggressive.

Inspections.  Always ask to see a copy of the nursing home’s most recent inspection report.

Loss prevention.  Resident’s possessions are often stolen in many nursing homes today.  Ask if there are policies in place to safeguard your loved one’s possessions.

Turnover rate.  When there is a high turnover rate for CNA’s (certified nursing assistants), it is not a good sign.  Look into the positions to see if a problem exists; if so, talk with the director or administrator to determine why there are so many turnovers or changes in staff.

Special services.  Alzheimer’s care, rehabilitation and hospice are some of the specialized services offered by many nursing homes today.  Check to ensure that the nursing home you are considering for your loved one has a facility guideline for when patients should be placed in rehabilitation, hospice or other special units.

Incident reporting.  First of all, make sure that the facility you are considering has a system in place for reporting abuse or neglect.  Also check to see if there are any claims, how many or if they seem frequent, and how the home investigates and reports these complaints.  Check to see how any complaints that were filed were resolved.

Other areas you should investigate is whether there are physical restraints in place when there are not enough staff present to assist all residents at all times, so that you won’t have the worries of your loved one falling as he/she tries to move from the bed to a chair, etc.  In an ideal situation, there should be sufficient staff to assist residents at any time, even on weekends.  Make certain that there is adequate time during meal times so that your loved one has enough time to eat, and that assistance is available should he or she need help with meals.

By checking off the list above, you can prevent much of the stress and worry of placing an elderly loved one in a nursing home facility.  Abuse and neglect are real and growing problems today; what you desire for your loved one is care and nurturing in a comfortable, secure environment.

If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home or elderly care facility, contact the New York nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Brown Chiari today.   Our New York injury attorneys fight to protect the rights of those in nursing homes, and to seek the justice your family deserves.

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