It’s difficult to trust a stranger with the full care of your loved one, but sometimes a professional is the only one who can best take care of someone who can no longer safely live on their own. It is good practice to check the facilities out before deciding on a location, but it can be difficult to know what to look for specifically–instead of trying to go through a detailed checklist that may not indicate the quality of care, there are a few simple questions to ask yourself.
Before you go, familiarize yourself with red flags that may be an indication of elder abuse.
What do you hear?
In every nursing home, you will hear patients calling for help or moaning. These are unlikely signs of nursing home abuse or mistreatment. Instead, listen to how staff speaks with patients and one another. When staff considers how their patients wish to be addressed and show respect rather than using nicknames or “grandpa,” it is a good sign.
What do you smell?
Of course, all facilities will have a certain funny smell due to medications and diets. However, the amount of scent tells a lot. If you pick up a whiff of urine, it typically means someone recently had an accident. Strong, stale smells of urine that reek throughout the facility, on the other hand, are a sign of improper cleaning.
How does the food look and taste?
It is difficult enough to get older folk to eat. Having palpable food helps keep good spirits in a nursing home and will encourage them to eat regularly. It is also important to check out what types of diets they offer and if you can bring in homemade food to give them a taste of home.
How do residents spend their time?
If you see a large group hanging around a nurses’ station or together in a community room, it’s a good sign. Residents who are consistently tucked away in their rooms often have depression and other mental health issues.
How does the staff interact?
Respect starts with the staff. If they address each other harshly or disrespectfully, it can be assumed they will have the same attitude toward your loved one. It is also important to listen to what they discuss. Staff that gossips rather than going over care plans should be avoided.
If your loved one is showing signs of abuse, be proactive. Get in contact with one of our Connecticut nursing home abuse lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers as soon as possible to keep your loved one safe.