When it comes to protecting loved ones living in nursing home facilities, it is critical to keep an open eye. When visiting, there are key things to look out for that can help you catch neglect and abuse before it becomes severe enough to cause other problems. As a family member or friend, don’t forget to check up on visiting policies, and remember you can get to know your loved one’s social worker so if there is a problem, you can take it to the correct person. Here are three things to look for when visiting a nursing home.
For more info on how to report problems, read Consumer Voice’s five steps to reporting abuse.
Note the Number of Personnel
Though you may not know the true ratio, it is important to note how many staff members are around. If the number seems low, if there are a lot of call lights blinking with seemingly no, or incredibly slow, response, then you might want to message administration or even contact an ombudsman to find out if the nursing home is meeting appropriate personnel-to-resident ratio.
We know that low personnel numbers can lead to an increase in neglect and abuse. So this is a key area of nursing home life to take note of when visiting. And don’t be afraid to ask about it–this issue could lead to a life or death situation!
Pay Attention to Cleaning Procedures
Perhaps one of the easiest things to note is the cleanliness of the facility. Whether it’s the nursing home’s infection control protocol, or their daily cleaning routine, it’s important to know what their standard is and note whether or not it is being met.
Take a look around your loved one’s room, note any overflowing trash cans, uncleaned bathrooms, dirty sheets, dirty clothes, messes or piles that have not been addressed, and whether or not the dining area seems clean. If there is ever an cleanliness issue, address it with the staff on duty. And if the problem persists, bring it to the attention of the administration. Messy areas can lead to falls, dirty clothes and sheets can lead to infections and disease, and overall uncleanliness can be the first sign of neglect.
Check the Activity Schedule
An aging-friendly world includes plenty of activities catered to the older generations. In nursing homes, this looks like a variety of activities, including performances, religious services, crafts, social hours, games, exercise classes, and more that appeal to the community and ensure that there is something for everyone. When you are visiting a nursing home while looking for a place to live, it is incredibly important to ask about the activity schedule and even ask what is done to ensure new activities are introduced.
When visiting a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to know if they have been taken to activities when they want to go and that they know what activities are available to them.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of neglect or abuse, call Gharibian Law (877-460-1187) today for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.