Putting your loved ones in nursing care is never easy. It’s a hard decision to make, and you want to be sure that the people in whose hands you’re leaving your elder relative are caring and qualified. Learn some tips to find the right care facility for your senior loved one, how to spot signs of nursing home abuse, and when to hire an elder law attorney.
Check the Food
The food tells you a lot about the facility’s level of care. Have a meal with your loved one in the facility’s cafeteria. You can then judge how the food tastes, looks and smells to determine if it seems to have been prepared with care towards the quality of nutrition and how enjoyable it is to eat, just as your loved one would prefer at home. Hastily-prepared, bland or poor tasting food can be a red flag of poor overall care.
Look and Listen
Look and listen for any red flags you see. Do the residents seem clean? Do they exhibit signs of unusual pain or marks beyond those you’d normally expect? Are there bruises, broken bones, or an overabundance of issues like bedsores? Is there a strong smell of body odor, urine or the like? Do you see staff yelling at or harassing the patrons? All of these can be signs of nursing home abuse, and red flags to avoid the facility.
Observe the Staff
Do the staff seem happy and content, or do they all look tired and overworked? Ask how many staff work at the facility in total, how many are on the floor at any given time, and what the normal shift hours are. The last thing you want is to leave your senior loved one in the care of a facility that is understaffed and whose existing staff work double shifts and overtime all the time. That leads to lack of care, outbursts and critical errors.
What kinds of recreational activities are available to residents? Do they have opportunities to pursue hobbies, arts, crafts, trips to museums and outings, or do they simply sit in chairs and stare out the windows? Do the residents seem happy and engaged with each other? Ask about opportunities for passing the days in engaging and enjoyable ways. Exercising the mind is as important as exercising the body.
Nursing Home Abuse: Hiring an Attorney
Sometimes even the best intentions go awry. You choose a nursing home that looks great, and before long your loved one seems withdrawn and bitter, shows signs of injury and you suspect abuse. In these cases it’s vital to talk to an attorney. An elder law lawyer can protect you and your loved one from cases of abuse, get you compensated for damages, and even save lives. If you think your loved one might be the victim of abuse, don’t wait: call the authorities and call our offices for help today.