Placing a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision. In many cases, however, this is the best decision for an elderly individual. The best nursing homes are able to provide care by helping an elderly individual with everyday tasks like eating and getting dressed. The level of care provided by a nursing home is just one of the factors you should consider.
Before you decide on a nursing home in which to enroll your loved one, it is important to consider the facility’s history of abuse and neglect complaints.
Deciding on a Nursing Home
There are several important steps that you can follow to make sure that your loved one is enrolled in the best nursing home possible. These steps include the following:
- Determine the level of care that your loved one needs. Then find nursing homes that provide this level of care. For example, if a loved one needs help with most daily living activities, then he or she needs a nursing home that specializes in long-term custodial care.
- Compare details about the quality of potential nursing homes. Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services release stats on more than 15,000 nursing homes throughout the country.
- Nothing can replace an actual visit to a nursing home. Many will let you schedule a date and time to visit their facilities. As you tour the location, you should trust your gut regarding the level of care that you see the home provides.
- Create a specific list of questions to ask the people who own and run the facility.
Red Flags to Watch Out for When Selecting a Nursing Home
While visiting a nursing home, it can be confusing to know what to watch out for. Some of the indicators that a facility is not the right location for your loved one include:
- Serene Environment. Most organized nursing homes tend to be quiet and peaceful. The noisier and more chaotic the nursing home is, the less likely it is to be run efficiently. Loud noises have the potential to agitate older people, particularly if they have been diagnosed with a condition like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s.
- Respectful Staff. The way in which staff and residents interact with one another is something to look out for at a nursing home. Nursing staff keeps nursing homes running, and they should remain respectful of the residents at all times.
- Access to the Administrator. In nursing homes with an adequate number of staff members, the administrator should be open and accessible to answer your questions in person. If an administrator is unavailable to meet with you, that may be a sign that the home in understaffed.
- One of the greatest challenges presented by moving to a nursing home is that older adults lose a great degree of autonomy there. To make up for this loss of freedom, many quality nursing homes decide to offer senior citizens a number of different living options.
- Visiting Hours. Most nursing homes request the guests do not interrupt loved ones during the middle of the night and instead stick to a reasonable visitation schedule. Nursing homes, however, should permit you to come and go from the center as you please.
- Safe Neighborhoods. Nursing home residents tend to spend most of their time inside the nursing home, but it is important to make sure that the surrounding area is safe, as well. This is because time spent outside on a routine basis can be good for a person’s mental health.
- Aligned values. Select a nursing home that espouses values consistent with your family’s choices.
After Selecting a Nursing Home
Even after you select a nursing home, there are still some steps that you should follow to reduce the risk of abuse:
- Understand that you and your loved one have rights that are established in Ohio’s Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights.
- Keep an open line of communication with the people who run the facility. You can never tell when a problem will arise.
- Determine if the nursing home makes you sign an arbitration agreement in which you agree to resolve disputes with the facility outside of a court of law. If a nursing home requires you to sign this agreement before admitting your loved one, you should pursue other options.
Speak with an Experienced Nursing Home Attorney Today
Unfortunately, no matter how much you try to protect a loved one, sometimes nursing home abuse still occurs. In these situations, one of the best steps that you can take is to promptly retain the assistance of an experienced attorney who will hold the responsible parties accountable.
Contact Kruger & Hodges today to schedule a free initial evaluation.