A recent study revealed that 24.3% of residents experienced at least one instance of physical nursing home abuse.
Further, the CDC found that between 2002 and 2016, the rate of abuse against senior men had increased by 75%, along with a 35% increase in the number of physical assaults against older women.
If you go by these figures, the mere thought of putting your elder loved one in a nursing home can be nerve-racking initially. But, if they need full-time and high-quality care, nursing homes can be the best choice to ensure that they’re looked after properly. However, you need to pick the nursing home extremely carefully.
The decision to place your senior in a nursing home can become easier if you’re sure about the facility you choose for them. This will mean researching the nursing homes that you think can fulfil the needs of your loved one.
Several Points to Consider While Finding the Nursing Home
Whether you’re looking for a nursing home for yourself or to make a long-term arrangement for a loved one, the following pointers will help you make a sound decision.
1. Talk to Friends and Family
It is a good idea to discuss the matter with family and friends and ask them for recommendations of reputed nursing homes.
You can also consult social workers and healthcare providers to get a good idea of nursing home facilities that provide reliable care. If you know a good nursing home abuse lawyer, get their suggestions too.
Once you’ve shortlisted a few homes, call each one of them. Ask them about how many residents they have and the costs involved. Also, enquire about waiting lists.
2. Visit the Nursing Home in Person
Before deciding on a nursing home, make it a point to visit all the shortlisted ones personally. Arrange a meeting with the facility’s manager or the in-charge. Ask them questions about their Medicare and Medicaid certification. See if the facility is suitable for the handicapped.
You may also want to observe the residents’ behavior and gauge if they look happy, healthy, and well cared for. Visit during meal times to find out if residents are being served fresh and wholesome food.
You should also observe the quality of interactions between the residents and nursing home staff. If it is amiable, you might have found a good place for your elder. If the residents seem stressed or intimidated, continue your search.
As experienced nursing homes abuse and neglect lawyers, we suggest you carry along the Medicare Nursing Home Checklist at the time of your visit. It will come in handy at the time of assessing the nursing home based on several crucial parameters.
3. Is It Easily Accessible?
The location of the nursing home is another important factor to consider. It makes sense to look for a facility that’s located close-by and convenient to visit frequently. While an hour-long drive may seem doable at first, think about commuting the distance after a long day at work.
If the nursing home isn’t close to your place, it should be near a trusted family member who is willing to provide the necessary support to your senior.
The size of the nursing home is also crucial. It should comfortably accommodate all the residents, providing them with ample space and privacy to move around.
Your choice should also be based on the personality and preferences of you elder loved one. For example, if your senior is the outgoing type, they’d be better off in a place with a lot of people around.
Check if there are sufficient open areas where they can go for walks or spend some quiet time. If yes, make sure they’re easily accessible, elder-friendly, and safe.
4. Do They Offer the Services You Need?
You should find out which services are provided by the nursing homes you’re considering. While most nursing homes offer basic long-term care, your elder deserves a place that augments their quality of life. Dining experiences, for example, can make a huge difference to the overall satisfaction of residents.
Apart from this, various other activities can help improve residents’ experiences. For instance, some elders may want to practice Yoga or other light exercises to stay fit, while others may like music. A good nursing home will allow residents to choose the activities they enjoy and participate in them.
You should also check whether or not the nursing home can provide specialized services and has trained staff to support elders with special needs. For example, if your elder has dementia, the nursing home should be able to provide them with special care and services necessary to look after them.
5. Check out Their Track Record
To be sure you’ve picked the right nursing home, check their track record and see if there is a history of elder abuse or neglect. Seek and go through inspection reports and surveys conducted by state and federal nursing home regulators.
The Medicare website is a good place to find information on certified nursing homes. You may also want to look for a facility that is verified by The Joint Commission. It is an independent agency that evaluates nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
A good nursing home will not hesitate to show you their citations, logs, and certifications. If they don’t cooperate, consider it a major red flag and continue your search for another nursing home you can trust.
6. Read Your Contract Carefully
Once you’ve decided on a nursing home for your loved one, you will have to sign the contract for enrolment. Before you sign the dotted line, however, read the contract carefully. Clarify your doubts and queries with the facility manager.
Ask to see the nursing’s home current inspection report and certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A home that doesn’t pass this inspection will not be certified, and should be avoided at all costs.
You can also ask a trusty friend, family member, or even an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to go over the fine print in the contract before singing it.
How to Report Abuse and Neglect in a Nursing Home
If your elder loved one lives in a nursing home, and have been displaying signs of nursing home abuse – physical, emotional or financial – you need to act fast.
More often than not, elders feel embarrassed or even scared to report mistreatment for fear of retaliation from the nursing home staff. It is, therefore, necessary to talk to them when you are alone.
Offer to take them to get help at the nearest local senior protective services agency. A number of state and national social service agencies can help.
If you think your loved one is in danger and needs urgent help, call 911 or seek immediate help from local police authorities.
You may also want to talk to a qualified nursing home abuse attorney and take legal action with their help. This can go a long way in keeping them safe by stopping any mistreatment immediately.
A good nursing home can prove to be a boon for you and your loved one. However, finding such a facility takes careful consideration. First and foremost, you want an elder care facility that’s safe and has trained, trustworthy staff. This will help ensure that your senior is well-looked-after and isn’t neglected or abused in any way.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is more common than you think. But the good news is, not all facilities are bad. If you take certain precautions, you should be able to find a safe and supportive nursing home for your senior loved one.
The tips discussed in this post should help you zero in on a reliable and comfortable nursing home for your elder. Do follow them to increase your chances of finding a facility that enables them to live with respect, dignity, safety, and happiness.
If you suspect that your elder loved one is a victim of abuse, exploitation, or neglect at a nursing home in Davis County and Weber Counties, take legal action immediately. The seasoned nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at Carlson Injury Law will help you protect your senior’s rights and keep them safe. Call (801) 845-4577 or fill out our online contact form to know how we can help you.