Want to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse? Investigate Before You Move It!
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Jul 27, 2016
Nursing home abuse and elder abuse are underreported epidemics in America. Statistics maintained by the National Council on Aging show that about one in ten older Americans are the victims of abuse, but only about one in fourteen cases of abuse are reported to authorities. Residents of nursing homes are at an increased risk of suffering physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse due to their setting and their medical conditions.
Nursing home abuse can be prevented, but unfortunately many individuals who are investigating a nursing home in anticipation of placing a loved one with the home do not conduct a sufficiently thorough investigation.
What To Look For in Investigating a Nursing Home
When you are considering placing a loved one in a nursing home facility, be certain to give yourself sufficient time to thoroughly investigate the home. In particular (according to Philly.com), pay attention to:
- Ratings: Part of your investigation should involve looking online for reviews of the nursing home facility you are considering to see what other residents and/or their families think of the facility. Be sure to read both positive and negative reviews – do not minimize or dismiss the negative reviews, regardless of how glowing the positive reviews. If nothing else, the negative reviews can give you information or material to use to question the staff when you meet with them in person.
- Lunch and dinner: Attempt to visit the nursing home when they are serving lunch and/or dinner to the residents. This will give you an opportunity to see the type of food the home provides to residents and the care and attention the staff of the home give to the residents. A home that provides substandard food to its residents is more likely to provide substandard care in general. In addition, staff that appears to be rushed or uninterested in helping residents eat may also be inattentive or unhelpful in assisting residents with other tasks.
- Your own observations: Carefully examine the home and its residents. Do not be fooled by nice furniture and fresh paint – pay attention to the smaller details, including how often staff check on residents, whether the director of the nursing home visits with residents, whether residents appear happy and engaged in activities during the day, and whether staff appear to treat the residents in a pleasant and respectful manner.
- Your intuition: If you have a bad “gut feeling” about a home, trust that feeling and consider finding another nursing home facility. Although it may take some time to find another home, it is far better than placing your loved one in a home where he or she would be abused and/or neglected.
If a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect while in a nursing home, contact Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. for assistance. Although our experienced Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys cannot undo abuse or neglect, we can assist you in obtaining compensation for your loved one’s injuries. Call our office or contact us online today to discuss your nursing home abuse case.