Helping your loved one choose a nursing home

When the time comes to help your aging mother or father find nursing home care, you may experience a wide range of emotions. By the time this type of decision is made, you have likely already faced several challenges regarding your mother's or father's health condition and care. Finding the right nursing home for your loved one can be difficult, especially given the fact that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of people who suffer from nursing home negligence and abuse throughout the nation.

How do you make sure this doesn't happen to your loved one? Since you can't guarantee his or her complete safety, the best you can do is thoroughly research all of your options and investigate any situation or incident that causes you concern.

Tips for finding a good nursing home

You should be able to assume that all caretakers at the facility will conduct themselves professionally and ensure your parent's safety. The following list provides a checklist that can help guide you to the best-fitted facility for your parent:

  • One of the first answers you might seek is whether the facility you are considering is Medicare certified.
  • Also, check if there is a waiting list for new residents. If the nursing home is very busy, will it be too busy to care for your parent?
  • Find out how many beds are in the facility, total. You want to make sure your mother or father will have all the care and attention needed. If there are too many residents and not enough care providers, things can go very wrong, very quickly.
  • Do you know if anyone has filed any lawsuits against the nursing home? If you don't know the answer to this question, you may want to find out before making a final decision.
  • Does the facility conduct background checks on employees?
  • Does the facility welcome your visits? What are the visiting hours? You will likely want to make certain you have ample time available to pop in and check on how things are going.
  • When you walk into a common area, such as a dining hall or recreation room, what is the atmosphere like? Do the other residents appear well cared for and content as appropriate to their mental and physical health conditions?

If something doesn't seem right, or you get a bad vibe, you may want to do some more digging before deciding whether your parent would be happy in a particular nursing home.

If you choose a nursing home but you later find that your parent seems troubled, or if there are obvious signs of neglect or abuse, it's good to know where to turn and what resources you have to stop the mistreatment.

What to do if you suspect negligence or abuse

Nursing home negligence is a serious problem in Alabama and throughout the nation. If your mother or father's well-being is at stake, you have every right to pursue justice on his or her behalf. To start righting the wrongs, talk to an attorney with experience in this sensitive area of law.

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