We all want our loved ones to be safe no matter where they are, on the way to the grocery store, at home asleep in bed, or miles away on travel. Our elderly loved ones deserve no less and we should feel confident that they will be safe should they need to live in a nursing home. Choosing the right nursing home for your loved ones is a difficult process. A great deal of investigation should be undertaken before placing your loved ones in the hand of perfect strangers. If you don’t dig deep into the workings of the nursing home, you may not get the real picture. Nursing home are businesses. They operate to make money. Therefore, it is in their best interest to attract new residents. It is also in their best interests to minimize expenses. Profit is the goal of every business. Nursing homes are no different.
A nursing home may try to put on a kind of “show” when prospective new residents and their families come to see the property and grounds. But, remember the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Before we agree to allow our loved ones to become full time residents of a nursing home, you must make sure it is responsive to the needs of the residents, provides a fully staffed medical team, is clean and is safe for the residents. Many residents go to live in nursing homes that are not clean, not responsive to their needs, not properly staffed with medical personnel and not safe for the residents because a proper investigation was not made. Many nursing home abuse claims could have been prevented by investigating the prospective nursing home.
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So what should you do and what should you look for when conducting your investigation?
Visit The Facility Yourself – First things first, you should personally visit the facility and make several notes on the amount of care coming from the staff. Not only should you examine the way your own family is treated, but also how other patients are treated. Look for signs from the other people staying there, for instance their attitude and happiness. Examine the facility itself and determine whether or not it looks, smells and even feels clean. Ask to see the kitchen, bathrooms, recreational areas, etc. You cannot ask too many question or look at too many areas. Find out what the policies are for individual resident care, such as bathing, grooming, changing bedding and similar items.
See what people are saying about it – Do a search on the internet for the home. See if there are any comments about the facility. If there seems to be a large number of negative comments, it might pay to be extra wary. However remember that people who post online are usually the ones who are unhappy, and the people who are pleased with the facility, likely will not be posting something online. Use online comments as a tool, not an end all be all. Wait outside the home and speak with the family members of other residents to see what their feelings are about the facility. Don’t hassle anyone, just ask them If they wouldn’t mind sharing their opinions with you.
See if there have been lawsuits filed against the home – if the court system in your area has online record keeping, you may be able to research if the prospective home has been sued in the past. If there are a few claims, that may not be indicative of a widespread problem. But if there are a number of claims, it may be a good indication of less than adequate care. Remember, however, that the name of the facility on the front door may not be the actual name of the corporate entity that owns the facility. If you cannot find a facility in the court records don’t stop until you have checked with the tax and appraisers office to see who pays the taxes on the property. That will help identify the actual owners of the facility.
If you have a nursing home abuse claim, Mark A. Risi, an Orlando personal injury attorney, can help you. Call us at at (407) 423-1313 or contact us online and we will answer any questions that you may have.