The Hidden Horrors at Nursing Homes
How to Spot Potential Problems
Nursing homes can provide the perfect environment for elderly individuals who have medical issues that prevent them from taking care of themselves, but it is vital to ensure that you select a reputable facility. After all, the employment criteria at each nursing home can vary widely, and this will make a big difference in the type of care that your elderly loved one receives.
For example, there are some facilities that do not require several of their employees to have medical training. Instead, they are simply there to take care of minor daily tasks. This enables the nursing home to reduce their expenses, but it also means that residents might not be able to receive emergency assistance quickly enough to save their lives.
What Should I Look for in a Nursing Home?
1. Reputation – The reputation of the nursing home that you select is very important. If they have not been in business for at least a few years, you should definitely be cautious because it will be difficult to determine if previous residents have been satisfied by their level of care. Additionally, it is imperative to look into the facility’s past. For example, if you find a newspaper article about allegations of abuse, you should strongly reconsider your options.
2. Cleanliness – You should always tour the nursing home before you sign a contract. During this tour, it is a good idea to look for any signs of excessive dirtiness because this is a potential indicator of neglect. After all, if the staff does not take the time to clean up the floors or repair broken furniture, the odds are high that they will not properly take care of your loved one.
3. Staffing – As previously mentioned, the staff at each nursing home that you tour is likely to be different. Although it is acceptable for the facility to have employees on staff that do not have medical training, it is essential that they offer 24-hour access to trained professionals. In other words, if they do not have a nurse or doctor on staff during the midnight shift, you should not utilise their services. According to information from medical malpractice attorneys, medication errors can be considered nursing home abuse that can be prevented with properly trained employees.
4. Activities – Even though some of the residents will be unable to participate in activities, it is important for the nursing home to have options available for people who are not completely bedridden. You should inquire about the activities that are offered, especially if your loved one is physically capable of participating.
5. Respectful Behaviour – The entire staff at the nursing home should treat all of the residents and their families with respect. If you see any evidence that this is not the case, it is a good idea to cross the facility off of your list.
Sadly, no matter how closely you inspect a nursing home, it is still possible that neglect or malpractice could occur. If your loved one runs into this issue, it is important to preserve the evidence and then move them immediately. You should also contact an attorney who has experience with personal injury and malpractice cases to help you file a lawsuit.
Melanie Fleury found this information very helpful when searching for a nursing home for her grandmother. Price Benowitz, LLP at http://medicalmalpractice.virginia-personalinjurylawyer.com, helps clients fight nursing home abuse including improper treatment, failure to treat new conditions, and slip and fall cases. If a nursing home fails to meet accepted standards of medical care it is considered malpractice.