Nursing homes are an important staple in our community, as they provide long-term care, attention, and personal care services for seniors. Depending on the facility, these services usually include nursing assistants, 24-hour supervision, physical or occupational therapy, meals, and assistance with everyday activities. Choosing the best nursing home for your loved one is often challenging, as it can be difficult enough to come to terms with the fact your parent needs to move to one of these facilities. Being placed in a nursing home means your loved one is in a vulnerable state and will be dependent on the care of the facility. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a serious problem in the United States right now.
It is estimated that as many as 5,000,000 elders are abused every single year, and one in 10 seniors over the age of 60 have been abused or neglected in some manner. Nursing home abuse often goes unreported, making it even more difficult to pinpoint the exact number of cases that take place every year. It is estimated that only 1 in 14 incidents of elder abuse are reported annually. These statistics are undoubtedly shocking and make the decision to admit your loved one to a nursing home even more difficult. However, there are a handful of factors to take into consideration to help ensure the assisted living facility you have chosen will take excellent care of your family member. The following considerations and tips should help you make an informed decision when it comes to what facility will be best for your loved one:
- Is the facility certified? First and foremost, make sure the nursing home(s) you are looking at are certified by both Medicare and Medicaid. Also look at how long the facility has been certified and if they have had any complaints against them.
- Does the facility offer specialty care? Make sure you choose a nursing home that has an Alzheimer’s unit or other specialty care services. Your loved one deserves the most well-rounded care possible, and the last thing you want is to have to move them to another facility when you learn the caregivers are not equipped with the right services.
- What kind and number of nursing staff does the facility provide? One of the leading factors in elder abuse in nursing homes is the lack of adequate staffing. Ask questions and ensure the facility is not only fully staffed, but has people on hand who can provide your loved one with the care and attention they need. Does the staff have easy access to continuing education and training programs? Do they hire people who have a record of mistreatment or neglect in the nurse aide registry? Is there a licensed nurse at the facility 24/7? Is there a lot of turnovers? These are all very important considerations that should not be overlooked.
- What does the facility’s decision-making process look like? Many people don’t think about this, but understanding what the residents’ role is in the decision-making process is important.
- Is the facility clean, safe, and welcoming? First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to nursing homes. Ask to take a tour and check out the facilities before committing. Pay attention to how being there makes you feel and if you think your loved one would be comfortable and well taken care of there.
Nursing home abuse is everywhere these days, but you can protect your loved one by knowing what to look for in a good nursing home. If you or someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse, please contact Wormington & Bollinger today. Our Dallas nursing home abuse attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to represent you and ensure those responsible are held accountable.