You and your family have finally come to terms with the fact that your mother, father, or even grandparent needs around the clock care that nursing homes provide to their residents. So, what now? How do you begin this daunting search for a facility that is going to provide them with the quality care they need while allowing them to live in a comforting and welcoming environment? The reality is, it isn’t exactly easy to find the right nursing home when you initially begin your search. It is going to take time and dedication and you will need to do thorough research before settling on any one location.
However, to help speed up the process and avoid placing your loved one in a nursing home that isn’tgoing to treat them respectfully and may even neglect them, below we highlight a few red flags U.S. News & World Report has shared that you may want to keep an eye out for. These red flags can help you determine whether the facility is one you should consider or one that doesn’t belong in your pile of homes you are considering.
1. The facility has a history of violations. With the internet being as fast and reliable as it is today, there are many ways you can find out whether a nursing home has violations filed against it and even the details describing what rules and regulations were broken. Below are some online search tools you can take advantage of that will help you find out if the nursing home has had any violations.
- Medicare.gov. You can compare various nursing homes in the Houston area simply by using their online search tool. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows you to also see how the home ranked and why it received as little or as many stars as it did.
- ProPublica. This independent, nonprofit news source allows you to use their search tool to compare nursing homes based on deficiencies cited by regulators and penalties imposed within the past three years.”
Now, you will want to keep in mind that not all violations point to poorly trained staff or residents being neglected. There may be some violations the facility was cited for regarding the structure of the building or something that wouldn’t quite pose as a risk to your loved one if they were to live there. So, keep this in mind as you read through the violations.
You may also want to search online for a particular nursing home and read any reviews available to see what others like you have to say about it. Although not every online review is going to provide you with an accurate description of what the facility and/or the staff is like, if you find that the majority are negative, then perhaps you know many people were not satisfied with certain aspects regarding how the facility was being operated.
2. The facility has a high staff turnover rate. You can check this by visiting the facility multiple times to see if you see any familiar faces. You can also observe whether the residents are calling the workers by name and if they appear to be happy. Generally, when there is a high staff turnover rate, this might be an indicator that the facility isn’t operating as well as it should which is why individuals come and go. And the last thing you want is a different person tending to your loved one each day of the week, especially when they suffer from certain medical conditions that require constant attention.
3. There is a lack of independence present in the facility. You will want to keep an eye out for a facility that doesn’t allow their residents to make decisions about their environment nor provide them with much choice in terms of entertainment. Just because your loved one might have dementia or often sits alone doesn’t mean they should be confined to a room that resembles that of a hospital. U.S. News & World Report highlights that you may want to look for a facility where your loved one is still permitted to make decisions and aren’t forced to do something just because the staff tells them to.
4. The facility makes you feel uneasy. We have been told time and time again to trust out gut so why not do it now? If you feel uneasy about the facility or something just doesn’t sit right with you, don’t ignore these feelings as it might be your body trying to warn you that the facility isn’t the right fit for your relative.
Now, as difficult as it might be to find the perfect nursing home, you have to remember that it will take time. But, if you can weed out any facilities that exhibit these red flags, it will only shorten your list of homes you have to go and visit which can narrow your results and make choosing one a little easier.
In the event you are moving a relative from one nursing home to another because you believe they were the victim of abuse or neglect, consider contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer in Houston, TX to find out what forms of action can be taken against the facility. You see, many cases of abuse and neglect go unreported and ignored simply because the family of an abused resident doesn’t retain an attorney to help them follow the appropriate steps to report the alleged abuse. However, if you have evidence that proves your loved one was mistreated, our reliable and experienced nursing home abuse attorneys are available to help you take the right type of action so that the facility is, in fact, held liable.