Do you have an elderly family member currently living in a nursing home?
Finding a facility that will care for them as you would is always a challenge. Facility sales staff often paint the rosiest of pictures. But does their version of life in a facility match reality?
Often it does not.
Here are a few questions to ask when selecting a nursing facility:
- Ask about staffing levels. How many staff people are on hand at any given moment during the week and on weekends?
- What are the credentials of the staff?
- What level of training has the staff received?
- What are the facility’s practices, policies, and procedures for promoting resident safety and well-being? Be sure to have them describe how changes in patient status are communicated throughout the organization.
- Check with the Connecticut Department of Public Health website to compare the nursing home you are considering with others in your area: https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html?
What if you choose a facility – but become worried that your family member is not receiving the level of care they deserve?
Here are seven warning signs to watch for:
- Clear changes in appearance or moods/vitality. If you notice your family member looks a bit disheveled – or that they seem agitated, withdrawn or fearful – it may be a sign they have suffered from neglect or emotional abuse.
- If your loved one has a private room, pay attention to the condition of that living space. If you begin to notice stains on the floor or on furniture that are unexplained – question staff closely to understand how these are occurring. Physical abuse could be a cause.
- Unexplained bruising or other skin wounds. While these wounds can occur innocently, they may also be signs of physical abuse.
- Frantic and disorganized staff. Do members of the facility’s staff always seem harried, distracted, and a bit frantic? These signs could be an indication of inadequate staffing levels.
- Does your family member seem uncomfortable around certain facility staffers – or ask that a staff person not provide care? If yes – take their behavior and/or words seriously and investigate.
- Is there high staff turnover at the facility? This type of thing is never a good sign. If it continues, speak to the facility manager and ask for an explanation.
- Are there signs of dehydration or malnourishment? If at any time you find that your loved one is regularly dehydrated – or begins to look malnourished – act immediately to address the problem. It may be another indication that the facility is understaffed or poorly run.
The keys to helping a loved one live safely and with dignity in a nursing home are simple – select a facility carefully and be observant throughout their stay. If you become concerned about anything at any time – ask questions and insist on answers.
The lives of our loved ones are precious, dignity is fundamental to our humanity, and long, productive lives are worthy of respect.
If a loved one of yours has ever been injured or harmed while in the care of a nursing home in Connecticut, call a qualified Connecticut personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help to ensure that your family member’s rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled many nursing home neglect cases over our more than 60 years serving the people of Connecticut.
What’s more, our Connecticut attorneys have received local and national recognition for our handling of these cases.
We have a great team of legal experts dedicated to protecting consumers in Connecticut. Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free, and there is no obligation of any kind.