How to Choose a Nursing Home to Avoid Abuse
Whether you are a parent seeking a long-term care facility for a disabled child, an older adult seeking a home for a spouse or sibling, or an adult child looking for the right solution for an infirm, elderly parent, choosing a nursing home is one of the most challenging and emotionally-fraught tasks imaginable. In addition to all of the immediate medical needs that need to be addressed, you also want to have a strong level of confidence that the facility’s staff will treat your loved one with the compassion and attention that they deserve, and that you would provide if you were able. And, lurking in the background, there is also fear of the kind of neglect and abuse that we hear about on the news. Though there are concrete steps that you can take to protect against this possibility, you also need to be watchful. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we are happy to provide you with the steps you can take to choose a nursing home to avoid abuse, as well as to remind you that we are here to answer any questions and concerns you may have.
There are a number of signs and signals that you can look for to determine whether a nursing home or long-term care facility is paying proper attention to its residents and is truly a caring environment for your loved one. When touring, take note of the following items:
- Does the food look appealing? Is the staff paying attention to whether residents are eating and providing them with assistance if they are having trouble?
- How does the staff speak to the residents? It is always upsetting and distracting to hear people moaning or crying in a nursing home, but that is an unfortunate side effect of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. What is more important is how the staff treats the residents, and whether they speak to them with respect. Do they address them by name? Do they make fun of them or tease them? Do they sound frustrated?
- Pay attention to your senses, and particularly your sense of smell. Though it is normal for there to be some unpleasant smells, as many residents may lose control of their bladder or bowels and may be wearing diapers or have accidents, there is a difference between catching an isolate smell and encountering a facility where there is an overwhelming odor. A caring facility will constantly be cleaning up and providing maintenance to prevent odors from becoming permanent.
- Does the staff seem cheerful and energetic, or are they tired and frustrated? Many facilities are understaffed and employees are overworked – and that can be a dangerous combination for residents who are unable to defend themselves.
These are just a few of the ways you can detect what the mood and atmosphere of a nursing home are. If despite your best efforts you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact the compassionate attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers and let us help you protect your loved one and their rights.