- How do I find a good nursing home for my loved one?
- What are some specific assessment tips I should use when evaluating a nursing home?
- What is nursing home abuse and neglect?
- What are some of the indicators of nursing home abuse or neglect?
- What should I do if I suspect the abuse or neglect of a loved one in a nursing home?
- What rights do nursing home residents have?
- How much would it cost to hire an attorney to help me get good care for my family member in a nursing home?
- Would we have to take our case to trial?
Whenever possible allow your loved one to participate in the process of selecting a nursing home. Find out as much as you can about the prospective facility by talking to the long-term care ombudsman. They are in charge of responding to and investigating complaints made against the nursing home facility. Speak to healthcare providers who are familiar with the facility. If possible, speak to current residents and their families. Review the state surveys of every nursing home that is being considered. Any facility that is part of Medicare and Medicaid is required to allow people to view the inspection reports. Get the facts about nursing homes from Medicare, http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare/home.asp. Once the list of facilities has been narrowed down plan on making multiple trips to the facility at different times during the day and night to see how well the staff performs. Speak to staff members.
What are some specific assessment tips I should use when evaluating a nursing home?
Assessment tips include:
- Speak with current residents.
- Avoid facilities where your access is restricted, and you are directed only to residents who are willing to talk to you.
- The halls, rooms, and residents should not smell of urine or feces.
- If possible eat a meal yourself at the nursing home to judge its quality.
- Ask about the level of staffing for each shift, morning, evening, and night. Ask how many nurses are on duty and how many certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are on duty. Compare that to the number of residents. Also note how many residents are bedridden or in wheelchairs who require total care. If there are a large number of these types of residents, the CNA ratio to residents should be smaller.
Nursing home negligence can occur in various forms:
- Physical Abuse
- Medical Negligence, Malpractice and Neglect
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse
- Financial Exploitation
Some of the most common circumstances that may indicate nursing home abuse or neglect are the following:
- Bed sores
- Unexplained injuries
- Improper medication
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Unsanitary conditions
- Poor Staffing
- Unexpected Death
Please be aware that this listing is not exhaustive. Any suspicious, sudden, or unexplained change in condition may also be an indicator of abuse or neglect.
What should I do if I suspect the abuse or neglect of a loved one in a nursing home?
If the circumstances require immediate medical attention, see a doctor now. If you believe the situation represents criminal abuse, call the police. To represent your loved one’s legal rights contact our firm or another attorney right away. It may be prudent to register a complaint with the nursing home right away. But, leave that up to your attorney to decide. You may also want to report it immediately to the local State Department of Health Licensing or Certification office.
What rights do nursing home residents have?
Resident rights usually include:
- Respect: The right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Services and Fees: You must be informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home.
- Money: The right to manage your own money or to choose someone else you trust to do this for you.
- Privacy: The right to privacy, and to keep and use your personal belongings and property as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights, health, or safety of others.
- Medical Care: The right to be informed about your medical condition, medications, and to see you own doctor. You also have the right to refuse medications and treatments.
With our firm your first consultation is always free. Any fee would be discussed with you up front. However, in most cases that seek money damages we work on a contingent fee basis. That means that we don’t get paid unless we get money damages for our client. Then our fee comes out as a percentage of those money damages.
Would we have to take our case to trial?
Most cases settle out of court, without having to go to trial. However, that is because we are always prepared to go to court to seek the justice deserved, if necessary.