Moving a loved one into a nursing home is never an easy decision. But if your loved one’s physical or mental limitations have made it impossible for him or her to safely remain living at home, moving him or her into a nursing home may be the best choice.
During your visits to prospective facilities, keep the following tips in mind. Nursing homes can vary widely in the quality of care they provide their residents. The facility you choose should provide all of the following.
A Clean, Safe Environment
Tour the entire facility. Look at residents’ rooms, common areas, the dining room, and any other areas where residents might go, such as an on siteon-site clinic. If any of these areas are poorly lit, dirty, or appear to be unsafe because of broken handrails, clutter, or unstable flooring, your loved one might not be safe in the facility.
Happy, Stimulated Residents
A nursing home resident needs more than food and medical care. He or she needs intellectual and social stimulation suited for his or her cognitive level. During your tour of each potential facility, try to sit in on a few resident activities. Observe how engaged residents appear to be in these activities and whether the facility offers a variety of things to do or just recycles the same two or three events.
Attentive Staff Members
Pay attention to the staff. Do they appear to be stressed, overworked, or simply going through the motions? These are signs that your loved one might not get the care he or she needs from them. The staff at the nursing home you choose should appear to be in tune with their residents’ needs and capable of attending to them. Talk to the facility’s staff members, both the nursing staff and the facility’s management. Ask about their shifts and the ratio of staff members to residents and observe their body language and tone as well as their verbal responses.
24-hour Access to Medical Care
In a nursing home, your loved one should be able to receive medical attention when he or she needs it. Ask about the nursing staff’s clinical qualifications and whether the facility is affiliated with a hospital.
Services for your Loved One’s Specific Needs
If your loved one has a specific condition, such as dementia, ask about the services the facility provides for residents with that condition. Often, nursing home abuse and neglect stems from facilities having staff members who are not qualified to work with the residents they serve.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Abuse, neglect, and medical negligence can occur in any nursing home, even one that appears to be “perfect.” Although you can take steps to reduce your loved one’s chance of suffering from an act of malpractice, you can never completely eliminate this possibility. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of abuse or malpractice, contact our team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Baizer Kolar, P.C. to schedule your initial consultation with us and determine the right way to move forward with your case.