It’s a difficult decision to put a loved one into a nursing home, but for many families, it’s the only way to ensure an aging relative gets the constant care that they need. After Hurricane Irma roared through Florida, a nursing home was found responsible for neglect when 10 patients died as a result of no air conditioning. In the interest of helping you protect your family when choosing a suitable nursing home, ATC Medical wants you to be aware of the warning signs of neglectful care so you can make a smart choice when it comes to the care of your elderly relatives.
- Check the licensing
These things are public record. You can find out easily if the nursing home you’re considering is licensed, insured and up to code. Just like you would investigate a daycare center for your child, you should take the same care to investigate nursing homes for your elderly relatives.
- See how they respond to your questions
The nursing home director should be more than happy to speak to you and answer any questions you have about the staff, facilities and the emergency procedures. Make a list of questions before you tour each nursing home you’re considering and if you don’t get satisfactory answers or your questions are deflected, it’s a huge red flag.
- Take a tour
A place that has nothing to hide will be more than willing to show you around. How do the other patients look? Are they enjoying themselves to a degree or are they all confined? Is the space clean and cheery, or is it dirty and lacking in sunlight? And what about the staff? Do they seem friendly to you? Are they being caring to the patients you see?
- Responsiveness to calls
When you first call up to discuss the potential for having your loved one cared for at a certain nursing home, does the phone ring on and on with no answer? Do they put you on hold for over 5 minutes at a time every time you call? If they don’t have time to pick up the phone, it’s a sign of poor management and poor training and you should keep looking elsewhere to find a place that’s more responsive.
- Go with your gut
Do you have a bad feeling when you walk in? Or do you feel comfortable and positive? Listen to that gut feeling you get when you walk in. If you feel bad about a place or find it overwhelmingly depressive, go with your feeling.
Not all nursing homes are bad places, but it will take time to find the right one. Investigate each option thoroughly and once you find one, keep in constant contact to watch out for any changes. It’s important to monitor them to be sure your aging relatives get the proper care, attention, and respect they deserve.