How can I tell good homes from not so good ones?

Nursing homes, like many other businesses today, are being severely impacted by economic forces that may tend to compromise the home’s ability to provide a safe facility and adequate care for its residence. The costs associated with goods, services and personnel may temp some facilities to sacrifice the quality of their product to bolster their bottom line. Those sacrifices will most likely result in a direct, negative effect on the quality of care their residents receive.  So how can you be confident the facility you have chosen for your loved one has not placed their bank accounts health ahead of your loved ones health? The most effective way is to visit the facility regularly and look around. Open your eyes. There are tell tale signs that will warn you that a facility may not be what the brochures claim they are. Below is a list of things you should look for and ask about when choosing a nursing home for your family members.

-is the nursing home Medicare and Medicaid certified? Medicaid and Medicare have standards in place for facilities. If your nursing home is not certified there is a reason why.

-are there sufficient staff ( i.e. nurses, aids, custodians) to serve the residents living in the facility? If there is a shortage of staff the resident are probably not getting adequate care.

– Does the staff act respectfully to the residents? Do they knock before entering the resident’s room? Do the residents seem comfortable when interacting with the staff? Are they fearful or timid when the staff is present? Does the staff refer to the patients by name? Are their doctors or registered nurses on staff during the day, as well as night, to assist the residents if needed? Does the facility administration conduct background checks to insure the staff is free from criminal histories or do they hire anyone who applies?

– are there special services available if needed (defibulator, ventilator, rehabilitation and dementia units? If an emergency occurs how well can the patients be helped if the necessary apparatus is not available?

– how far is the facility from friends and family? Is visitation convenient? As a rule, residents with frequent visitors get more attention from staff than residents who do not.

– stop by the nursing home at different times of the day . Are the residents clean and dressed appropriately for the time of day? Are the rooms neat and free from foul odors?  Is the room adequately furnished? Is the temperature in the room appropriate for the season?

While the issue of nursing home abuse is unlikely to disappear in the foreseeable future, your ability to prevent the possibility of one of your loved ones falling victim to it can be minimized by exercising some caution and good sense. By being proactive, there is hope that you have the ability to not become a statistic.

If you, or a loved one, know of a family member that has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you should contact a qualified, experienced attorney to advise you of your legal rights. The Law Office of Dan Newlin & Partners is dedicated to protecting those rights. We have a staff that is experienced in handling nursing home abuse cases and knows the right questions to ask in order to get the right answers. You are encouraged to call our office any time at (407) 888-8000 for a free consultation. It would be an honor to answer any questions you may have.