Nursing homes or assisted living facilities can help take care of ailing family members or loved ones. At their best, nursing homes can provide a valuable service and essential care during a difficult time. Unfortunately, many nursing homes cut corners, neglect residents, and, in some cases, deliberately abuse those under their care.
Avoiding this nightmare scenario should be a top priority for anyone seeking an assisted living facility. With some research and attention, it is possible to identify red flags associated with nursing home abuse.
How to Pick the Right Assisted Living Facility
Transitioning a person into a nursing home is difficult for everyone involved. All too often, people rush through the process in order to reduce the awkwardness and pain, like ripping off a band aid. This can lead to some dangerous oversights that can lower the quality of life of a family member or loved one. When deciding on a specific facility, follow these tips to ensure the highest care possible.
Ask Current Residents of a Prospective Nursing Home
Visit any long term elder care facility you plan to placing someone. It is common to give tours to family members and friends of prospective residents. While visiting, make sure to sit down and ask other residents about their experience. Ask anything you would be concerned about when moving into a nursing home. How is the food? How do you spend your time? Do you like the other residents? Also, be careful to observe the interaction between patients and staff. Are the residents forcing politeness and smiles? Are they comfortable with their caretakers? This is less precise than direct questions to other residents but it can help determine if they are genuinely happy in a particular environment.
Check with Your State Attorney General
Nursing home complaints are often field with your state’s Attorney General office. Though facilities that violate the law are ultimately shuttered, building cases against nursing homes and assisted living facilities can take some time. Contacting your attorney general office for complaints against a particular nursing home can prevent you from making a major mistake.
Try Some of the Food
Food quality is a simple issue that can dramatically change a person’s mood and overall outlook. When visiting a prospective assisted living facility, try some of the food. Determine the quality, flavor, and healthiness. Obviously, not all people are registered dieticians but common sense can be a powerful ally when evaluating nursing homes. Small portions of bad food does not bode well for the quality of care residents receive at a particular facility.
Check the Daily Schedule
This is one of the easier ways to gauge the quality of a nursing home and its staff. How are the residents spending their time? A quality facility will have a bevy of daily activities for their residents and patients to engage in. Engagement in a variety of activities on a regular basis, such as line dancing, bingo, or arts and crafts classes, will help with mental acuity and overall health.
Andrew Egan is a Houston-based writer focusing on nursing home abuse and elder law.