Placing a loved one in a nursing home facility is never an easy decision. Family members can have peace of mind and ensure that their loved one is protected by performing their due diligence.
Even when adult children can no longer care for a family member, they should not feel guilty. There are usually numerous qualified nursing home facilities that provide above-standard care. However, it is important that you continue to look after your loved ones and make sure all is well.
Pay Attention to the Facility
During a consultation and tour, you will receive a sales pitch from staff about what makes their institution great. While it is easy to enjoy all the benefits and the appealing pamphlet, look around and observe what you see. How do the patients in the facility look? Do caretakers seem to enjoy their job? Is there peace and order, or does the staff looked stressed out and disorganized?
The best time to explore a nursing home is after dinner when there are fewer staff members, residents are done eating, and the facility is not expecting a high visitor count.
Make sure there are no persistent odors such as urine or ammonia, or patients who smell as though they have not been bathed.
Look for the Warning Signs
Watch your loved one for the red flags that he or she might be a victim of abuse. These red flags include changes in personality, mood, eating habits, or sleeping. Not all incidents of abuse turn out as bruises or broken bones.
If your loved one is showing signs of anxiety or depression, or he or she seems fearful or lethargic, speak with the on-site manager about your concerns. Also, ask your loved one if they like the facility and if they are happy. Let them know that they should never fear retribution and encourage them to be honest with you.
Keep in Touch
Staying in touch with your loved one, even if it is by phone, can ensure them that you not only care but will give you more opportunity to catch any warning signs of abuse. It is best that you visit your loved one in person as often as possible so that you can see their physical appearance and demeanor.
Know Where to Go When Abuse Occurs
If you notice signs of abuse, go through the proper steps to report the suspected abuse. You will start with the facility’s on-site manager and make sure they are aware of those concerns. A good manager will investigate your claims, examine records, and report back to you with his or her findings.
If the manager does not get back with you or does not provide you with the response or results you would expect, then you can file a formal grievance against the facility. Your concerns should be addressed within a 48-hour window when an official complaint is formed. From there, you can contact the nursing home administrator or the local regulatory agency to report the suspected abuse.
Contact an Attorney
Extended care facilities often have large legal firms protecting them in cases of abuse claims. That’s why it’s important that you take the time to obtain the services of a nursing home abuse attorney. Ethan Vessels is a personal injury attorney in Marietta, Ohio who can provide counsel for your nursing home case. Contact us today at 740-374-5346 or fill out our contact form.