When you become unable to live on your own or when a loved one or family member needs full-time assistance, a nursing home may be the best solution. Nursing homes or assisted living facilities promise to provide medical care and attentive support and supervision to patients. Unfortunately not all nursing homes live up to the promise they make, however, and nursing home abuse has become a very real problem in American nursing homes.
With nursing home abuse such a major problem, Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys urge those choosing a facility for themselves or their loved ones to exercise great care in researching nursing home options. These tips on selecting a nursing home can help you to make sure that you choose the right nursing home and minimize the potential risk of nursing home abuse.
- Make sure that the nursing home facility is licensed. Information on licensed facilities in Georgia can be found using the website of the Georgia Department of Community Health
- Research complaints and check compliance records for any nursing home facility that you are considering. You can learn more about facility compliance and complaints against nursing homes on the Georgia Department of Community Health site
- Visit the nursing home yourself several times. In addition to taking a tour and talking to staff, pay attention to the condition of the residents there. Do they seem well-cared for, clean and happy? Are the rooms clean and is the facility clean? How many staff are present at the time of your visits.
- Consider visiting during meal time and eating a meal in the nursing home cafeteria. This will allow you to judge the nutritional quality of the food and to observe how staff and residents interact.
- Ask the nursing home about the staff to patient ratio and about their policies on patients’ rights.
- Choose a facility close to your home so you can visit often. When a family has regular contact with seniors in a nursing home facility, this ensures that seniors have a lifeline to report abuse.
- Consider specialized nursing home facilities if you have special needs. Alzheimer’s patients, for example, require special care and a calm environment that may not be available in a standard nursing home environment. Special memory care facilities may be most appropriate for those suffering from dementia.
- Ask to see the schedule of activities for nursing home residents. Social contact and mental stimulation is important for seniors to keep their spirits up and maintain good health
- Learn about the nursing home fees and consider payment solutions including long-term care insurance and Medicare. While fees should not be the primary deciding factor, nursing home care can be very expensive and you want to choose a facility that is affordable over the long-term.
Following these tips is not a guarantee that you will be able to avoid nursing home abuse, but choosing the right nursing home is the best first step in protecting vulnerable seniors from neglectful or intentionally harmful behavior.
Do You Suspect Your Loved One Is Being Subjected To Nursing Home Abuse?
If you believe your loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse you should speak with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 855.GA.INJURY or 404.991.5950 to schedule your free consultation.