What factors indicate that a nursing home is safe for my parent?
When the time comes to put a loved one into a nursing home, it's often our first time doing such a thing. While it's likely that many of us will have gotten personal recommendations or read online reviews before calling to set up a tour of a facility, many of us have heard the horror stories. It can help to know what to be on the lookout for that may send a message that it's a nursing home we don't want to send a parent to live at.
A list compiled by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in conjunction with former nursing home staff members suggests that there are many factors to consider when choosing a nursing home.
One factor that should be on the lookout for are sounds. Although some calls for help or moans may simply come with the territory in dealing with dementia patients, they should raise alarm in other wards.
It's also important to be aware of the staff to resident ratio at the facility. You'll want to see what it says on Medicare's Nursing Home Compare online tool and then get a feeling yourself of the accuracy of those numbers when there in person. If staff is overworked, then it could greatly impact the level of care that they provide.
When touring a facility, you'll also want to pay close attention to smells. If there's a gassy smell that permeates the facility, then it could a sign that residents are being fed a poor diet or that they've heavily medicated. If you smell a heavy, stale urine odor, then it may be a sign that the facility isn't as thoroughly cleaned as it should be.
If you're allowed to interact with residents during your tour, then you'll want to be on the lookout for bedsores, poor hygiene and bruising. These are all signs that the people who live there aren't properly watched over.
You'll also want to ask staff how often falls occur and how they're dealt with. If staff suggests that falls happen often, then residents may often go unattended.
As hard as you may try to make the right choice for your parent, looks can deceive. In a personal injury case such as this, it's important to have a Tucson nursing home abuse and neglect attorney handling it who looks out for you.