As an adult child, one of the most heart-wrenching decisions you may ever be faced with is deciding that a parent needs the type of care that can only be provided by a nursing home. While the decision is often difficult to make, it may be necessary to keep your parent safe from harm and/or to ensure that your parent has access to much needed, around the clock, medical care. Once the decision has been made, the next step is to choose the best facility, a task that can be equally exhausting, both emotionally and physically. To help you make the best choice, the Loveland elder law attorneys at Zimmer Law Firm discuss how to pick the right nursing home.
Although many long-term care facilities provide competent and compassionate care to residents, the truth is that nursing home abuse and neglect do occur far too often in the United States. One in ten Americans aged 60 and older admit to having experienced some form of elder abuse, yet only one in every 14 cases of abuse is believed to be reported. Sadly, more than 40 percent of nursing home residents have reported abuse, and more than 90 percent report that they or other residents of the facility have been neglected.
While there is no way to eliminate the possibility that a loved one will become the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, asking the right questions when evaluating and choosing a facility can go a long way toward protecting your loved one. With that in mind, you may wish to consider asking the following questions when considering a nursing home:
- What is your staff-to-patient ratio?
- Is there a medical doctor on call 24/7?
- What is your procedure if a resident has an abuse or neglect complaint?
- What type of background investigation do you do on new hires?
- What is your staff turnover rate?
- Have you ever been disciplined or fined for a violation of state or federal laws or regulations?
- What social programs and/or activities are available for residents?
- Can I visit my parent anytime I want?
- Do residents have options for meals or are there set menus for each meal?
- Do you offer transportation services?
Steps to Help You Find the Right Nursing Home
With your questions ready, follow some simple steps when choosing a nursing home for your parent, including:
- Discuss your parent’s health care needs with professionals. Schedule appointments with your loved one’s doctors and ask what is needed in terms of the level of care and any special medical needs your loved one may have. Add to that your own knowledge regarding medical needs if you have been providing care.
- Research facilities. Do your own research on facilities that interest you. One reliable source of information is the Ohio Department of Health which offers a searchable database. Along with finding licensed facilities in your area, you can also check to see if a facility has had complaints filed against it.
- Schedule tours. Schedule official tours of your top five or six nursing home options. While touring each facility, try and talk to residents that are there. Pay attention to the things that matter most to you and your loved one and ask as many questions as possible.
- Show up unannounced. An official, scheduled tour is certainly necessary; however, you should also make a point of showing up when you are not expected so you get to see the facility in a different light.
Contact a Loveland Elder Law Attorney
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE webinar. If you have additional questions or concerns about elder law, contact an experienced Loveland elder law attorney at Zimmer Law Firm by calling 513-721-1513 to schedule your appointment today.
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