It is important to make sure that our love ones are taken care of when they are not under our control. To many times I have heard of someone’s grandmother or grandfather suffering from pressure ulcers or fractures while attending a Nursing Home. Unfortunately, this news does not shock me. However, there are ways to prevent these types of injuries and it starts with a through investigation of the Nursing Home.
Now you should not be fooled to believe that if the Nursing Home has a high rating score that they are not capable of negligent care. In evaluating potential Nursing Home facilities you would first need to determine if the elderly individual has special needs (i.e. respiratory therapy, etc..). If so make sure that the potential nursing home offers those services and has a history of compliance with the necessary certification standards. It is also important to make sure that the nursing home does not regularly reject patients with special needs because of cost control or inadequate staffing.
Second, you would want to check the nursing homes facility records. These records will provide you will valuable information regarding some of the following: infection control, pressure sores, weight loss, bladder control, use of restraints and pain treatment.
Third, you actually need to visit the facility. We suggest taking a checklist, which are provided by CMS, to make sure that the nursing home follows all state and local rules.
Finally, check the nursing homes actions regarding improving quality of care for their residents. It is preferred that a nursing home take affirmative action to improve quality of care and quality of life by “de-institutionalizing services and individualizing care.” Nursing Homes that utilize this practice allow residents to make daily life choices on their own and make the stay at the nursing home more homelike.
I hope these suggestions allow you the confidence to place your mothers and fathers in homes that will allow them to live out the remainder of their lives in a relaxing and deserving atmosphere.