Visiting a nursing home for your parents; what to look for

How many of us have promised our parents that we would never put them in a nursing home when they got older?  Many people have made that promise in good faith.

However, caregiving can be a very demanding and stressful job. As the health of your parents deteriorates, you may find yourself working a full-time job, caring for your family, and having to provide more and more hands-on care to your aging parents.

At some point, you’re going to have to face the reality that it’s time to look for other caregiving options. Trying to do the job of a skilled nursing facility can result in caregiver burnout and prove detrimental to the health of your loved one.

With so many stories in the news regarding nursing home neglect and abuse, how do you ensure that you elderly parents aren’t going to be another statistic? Taking preventative steps, such as thoroughly researching nursing home facilities, can go a long way to ensuring the safety and well-being of your loved ones.

When vetting a nursing home, you want to look at the following:

  • Location:  Once your parent(s) move into a nursing home, your biggest responsibility will be as their advocate. Therefore, the nursing home of your choice should be close enough for you to make regular visits.
  • Services:  Are the facility’s services compatible with the medical, social, spiritual, and community connections that your loved one(s) need?
  • Quality indicators:  Most states, as well as the federal government in conjunction with Medicare/Medicaid, provide a wide range of reports on licensed nursing care facilities including inspection reports, facility details, reviews by both patients and their families, staffing to patient ratios, staff turnover, the availability of a doctors on site, and much more.

More than just your gut instinct

Before making a decision about your parents moving into a nursing home, you need to do your due diligence. Tour facilities a few times each, and make sure to tour them at different times of the day and different days of the week. During your visits, make arrangements to talk to administrators and nursing directors, dietitians, activity directors, and other staff.

Ask to speak to some of the residents; drop into the activities room, for example, and ask what living in the facility has been like for them. Are they happy? Do they have freedom of choice? Do they get help and assistance when they need it?

Stay away from nursing homes if they have medical malpractice cases

Choosing the right nursing home for your loved ones is not without its challenges. Before making the final decision, check to ensure that the facility has not been involved in any medical malpractice lawsuits involving nursing home negligence or nursing home injuries

Even after heavily vetting a facility, your parent(s) may still become a victim of elder abuse. If you suspect that your parent has been a victim of nursing home abuse, contact the Law Offices of Scott S. Harris, San Diego personal injury attorney.