Choosing the right nursing home for a loved one who is no longer capable of taking care of himself or herself is a tedious but necessary process. It is expected that wherever you choose will provide adequate care and attention.
It will be a big change for both yourself and your loved one, so asking the right questions and taking the right steps are essential to finding the right facility. In order to help you find the right place for your loved one, here are five steps to take when choosing the right nursing home:
1.) Compare and Contrast
The first step is to compile a list of potential facilities. From there, you can compare things like proximity to yourself, staff numbers, costs, etc. Knowing how much you can spend and the type of care you are looking for are key aspects to narrowing down the proper care facility.
Once you are able to narrow it down to a few places, your next step is to compile a list questions.
2.) Ask the Right Questions
Before making your visits to potential nursing homes you should create a list of questions to ask about the facilities. Questions should range from inquiries about the facility itself to about the staff to about any activities available for residents. Questions should definitely be tailored to your loved one’s individual needs. Some important questions to ask include but are not limited to:
- Are background checks administered to all employees?
- Does the facility have an abuse prevention training program?
- What are visiting hours?
- What steps are taken to monitor abuse should it occur?
- What are staff hours and do residents have the same caregiver on a daily basis?
- Is the staff overworked?
- Is the facility up to code and equipped with smoke detectors, sprinklers, emergency exits, etc.?
- How does the food look and taste?
- What activities are available for the residents?
3.) Visiting Your Options
The next step is to visit your potential options and ask the questions you compiled from the step before. Do not hesitate to ask any question that comes to mind. It is important you find the right fit for your loved one, as well as a place that is comfortable and friendly.
When visiting and asking your questions it is important to observe the facility itself.
4.) Observe Facility’s Upkeep and Staff/Resident Interactions
When visiting potential facilities it is important to use your eyes, ears and even nose to observe the goings-on. Pay attention to how the staff addresses the residents and the manner in which they interact. This can be a more telling aspect of the facility as opposed to residents moaning or yelling, which are more often signs of the dementia spiral than poor treatment.
While nursing homes tend to have a unique odor, it is usually the consequence of people aging. What you should keep your nose tuned to are smells like stale urine, which can indicate a facility is not maintained regularly or properly.
With your eyes, it is important to evaluate the overall cleanliness of the facility as well as the general morale of the residents already there. You should also look for and inquire about potential safety hazards, like a frayed carpet that could be the catalyst for a fall.
5.) Overall Expense
While no amount of money would keep you from helping a loved one, the cost is one of the largest factors in choosing the right nursing home. In addition to making sure a facility is a place your loved one is comfortable with, you have to make sure the cost is one you’re comfortable with. Some homes have tacked on fees for physical therapy or the dentist so it is important to be aware of any and all expenses.
In the end, picking the right nursing home is a challenge but is one that many have had to do. In the more unfortunate situations, the wrong choice has been made and residents have ended up the victims of abuse.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Alabama contact the Birmingham nursing home abuse lawyers at Salter Ferguson, LLC to begin discussing your case. The initial consultation is free by using our online contact form to get started.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.