Whether you are the potential resident of a nursing home or you are the family member of an elderly individual looking into residing inside a nursing home, then you are likely to have a lot of questions. With nursing home abuse and neglect being a concerning issue for many residents and family members, it is important to ask the right questions.
1. How many nursing home staff per residents?
Asking the ratio of nursing staff per residents is important, as it indicates the level of attention a resident is likely to receive during his or her stay. Nursing home negligence can sometimes take please, because there are not enough nursing staff to cover all residents. Making sure each resident has a staff member that is individualized to the resident or at least a specific area, can assure a resident gets attended to right away in case of a fall or emergency. You can further add on by asking the number of hours dedicated to each resident per day.
2. How long has the average nursing home staff been on board?
Knowing the retention of the nursing home staff will give you a good idea of the overall environment of the place. If you know a resident will be cared for by the same staff for a while, you are likely to form a trust with that staff. If that is the case, you can count on the nursing home staff being able to pick up on the patterns of your loved one. The nursing staff may be better able form an overall opinion and conclusion upon a resident’s well-being and health. The resident can also have a trusting person if he or she is able to form that lasting relationship with the nursing staff.
3. Do you offer an individualized care plan?
Individualized care plans or treatments provide an outline of care for each resident inside the nursing facility. An individualized care plan provides information about the resident’s current health condition and well-being, as well as future health statutes. Asking about individualized care plans can give you a further clue as to the type of dedication the nursing home gives to its residents. Family members who may not get an opportunity to visit their loved one as much may want to call in to check for an update on the resident, and a care plan can be a documentation that helps with that information.
4. What sort of activities do you have available for residents throughout the day?
Having a set of activities available for residents throughout the day is beneficial not only for a resident’s physical health but for their mental health. Whether it’s playing with pets or playing chess with volunteers, activities will keep a resident feeling energized. Though all the individuals at the nursing home are now an elder age, at some point in their lives, some were athletes, lawyers, dancers, teachers, engineers, and so on. Even if at a slower pace, residents should engage in some activity that will make them think and move if possible. Since most activities are done in groups and social settings, activities will also provide that residents maintain the same level of social interaction they had outside of the nursing home. Maintaining social interaction will encourage residents to keep up with their social skills and enhance their mental health.
5. Do you have Abuse Prevention training?
Though the question is very direct in its manner, you can actually use it as a starting point to follow deeper into addressing ways in which an issue may be handled inside the nursing home. You could follow it up by asking about the frequency of having ombudsman available at the facility. Ombudsman are government agency advocates for nursing home residents and are called to check on complaints made by residents or family members. Since, abuse prevention is of utmost importance to most residents and loved ones, addressing this potential issue early can assure the nursing home is being open and honest with you.
6. Do you have special care systems in place with residents who have special conditions? (i.e., dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes)
Asking about special care systems for special residents is the best way to know if the resident’s specific condition is able to be addressed during their stay here. If a resident’s condition worsens, for example, this will be a good point to address if there is a hospice care available, or any additional support for residents of different conditions. You want to make the nursing home experience as personalized and specific for each resident as much as possible.
If you are a resident or a loved one of a resident and suspect nursing home abuse or neglect may be taking place, you can call to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC. at (844) 291-1911.