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Making the decision to go into a nursing home is a difficult one, whether you are acting for yourself or helping someone close to you. Care.com, an online source for the elderly and their caregivers, points out some signs that your loved one may need to make the transition from home into an assisted living facility. If you observe challenges with maintaining the household or completing everyday tasks, a change may be necessary. When the person is experiencing accidents, suffering injuries, or otherwise compromising his or her safety, the issue is more pressing.
However, even when it is clear that a loved one should be placed in long-term care, the next issue is choosing the right facility. To ensure an elderly resident is in good hands, some research is necessary. Nursing homes are businesses, and their focus on increasing profits and reducing losses can lead to situations of neglect. Consulting with an Owings Mills elder abuse and neglect attorney is essential if you have concerns, but here are a few factors to note.
Details About Staff
You should find out the credentials of staff and staff-to-resident ratios, including how many are working on days, evenings, overnights, and weekends. The licensing and staffing may vary considerably based upon the level of care provided by that facility, such as:
- Residential living facilities;
- Skilled nursing long-term care; and,
- Memory care.
In facilities that provide lower levels of care, it might be appropriate to have fewer employees who do not have specialized credentials. When you are looking at nursing homes for hands-on, detailed care and monitoring, you would expect ratios to be low, and staff would include RNs, LPNs, and CNPs. If your loved one requires memory care, find out about the employee’s experience and special qualifications.
On-site Medical Services
It is important to ask what services are available for routine needs and the unexpected. Again, the type of facility will dictate what features it offers. When their residents require higher levels of care, the nursing home may have a physician, lab services, a pharmacy, and other services available.
An assisted living facility is similar to a multi-unit residence or apartment complex, so you expect robust security measures. Review the common areas and private rooms for:
- A front desk with security guards and a process for admitting visitors;
- Tightly secured doors, gates, and windows;
- Adequate lighting; and,
- A security system that includes cameras and alarms.
Signs of Neglect
During a site visit, pay special attention to cleanliness, sanitation, and the overall condition of the assisted living facility. Dirty linens, sticky floors, and grime on surfaces indicate negligence with building maintenance. When you note broken railings, leaky faucets, and related repairs have not been completed, it is cause for concern.
A Baltimore County Elder Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Will Assist with Remedies
Our team at the Law Office of William F. Mulroney is prepared to assist with legal options, including filing a claim against the negligent nursing home. For more information, please call (443) 352-8433 or visit us online. We are happy to schedule a free consultation to discuss details.