When the time comes to put a loved one into a nursing home there are a lot of factors to consider before selecting a long term care facility. The worst thought any of us can imagine is placing a loved one in a nursing home without thoroughly checking it out, only to discover later, our choice led to our loved one becoming victimized through a nursing homes neglect. Doing the proper research and visiting the facilities can help you to avoid nursing home neglect. There are a few steps to follow when selecting a good nursing home.
The first and most important step would be to visit more than one home. You should have a real good insight if you were to visit at least three homes, three times. This way, any overt signs or signals of elder mistreatment will most likely become apparent with each visit as you get accustomed to the culture of nursing home facilities. If you witness any nursing home malpractice in a specific home, it will be easier to spot than if you just walked through the doors of one facility for the first time. To that end, along with visiting the home there are other steps to take in your research.
Before you even step through the doors, check out the neighborhood the home resides in. You can tell a lot about an elder care home by what surrounds it. Is it a calm, peaceful area with opportunities for your loved one to get outside if they able, or is the home in a bad, high crime neighborhood? The area can influence the care your loved one receives, not to mention the crime in that area could reach the home in the form of nursing home theft or other crimes against seniors.
Along with choosing a home in a nice neighborhood, ask the residents of the home what they think of nursing home life at their facility. Sometimes the best information you can receive will come from nursing home patients who live there everyday. Once again, if they report any stories of nursing home abuse, suspicions of abuse in nursing homes, or you meet elder abuse victims who warm you away from the facility, you may wish to choose a different a home. However, even if you talk to the residents of the facility, please be aware that for fear of further abuse or mistreatment, they may not say the truth. Be kind but be aware. In other words, read between the lines of what you're being told. Watch the expressions and body language of those informing you. Pay attention to the surroundings of the residents and facility. Do they appear happy? Are they communicable or is there a dark and dreary feeling of oppression?
Also, don't forget to talk to the nursing home staff and nursing home administrators (if they are available). This way you can get a feel for the people who will be taking care of your loved one. Most likely the nursing home professionals are responsible, caring, and would abhor patient abuse. But, also check to see if the home is understaffed, and how they respond to calls for assistance. Make sure the facility provides the services and has the nursing home personnel your loved one needs. For example, do they have a speech language pathologist, physical therapist, or occupational therapist? Does the home staff the necessary personnel to provide the proper care?
Along with visiting with the nursing home employees ask to check out the room, or type of room your loved one will be occupying. Some homes put as many as 4 beds in one room. Check for privacy curtains if there will be a roommate, and check out the general cleanliness of the room, bathroom, and the whole facility in general. A quality nursing home will have a clean facility. Check for a phone in the patients room so they can reach you if needed. Other services such as laundry services, leisure and entertainment, and transportation services should also be provided. Check to make sure all of these extra services are up to your standards.
There are also steps to take outside of the home to ensure a peaceful stay. You could consult a nursing home abuse report like the ones found here on our site. These reports will generally outline how a home scored in following nursing home regulation like cleanliness, staff service, and patient satisfaction. They will report instances of elder abuse and neglect if they occurred, statistics on nursing home negligence for the homes you choose if they exist, and how such nursing home abuse cases were resolved. These reports are a good way to get nursing home neglect information and see how homes stack up in the nursing home industry.
Preventing elder abuse should be a top priority when placing a loved one in a nursing home. If you experience any signs or signals of elder abuse in nursing homes during your research and visits, its important to report nursing home abuse. On top of that most elder abuse researchers say just visiting your loved one is just as important in combating the elder abuse problem as researching a good home for them to stay in. Should legal issues arise, you can consult a nursing home abuse attorney to guide you in nursing home abuse law.
Remember you and your loved one is ultimately the person that will have to live with your decision so be sure to do the proper research when selecting a long term care facility. Together, you can make a decision everyone will be happy with. Now that you're armed with some guidelines on selecting the right home for you and your loved one to avoid a nursing homes malpractice, you can educate yourself on the best nursing homes by searching our database of nursing homes so you can receive the top quality senior care! Avoid nursing home neglect and do the proper research and allow yourself and your loved one to sleep real well at night!