How Can I Get Better Care in a Nursing Home?

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How to Get Better Care and Attention in a Skilled Nursing Facility

Choosing a nursing home for yourself or a loved one can be a challenging decision. Further, not all nursing homes are equal (or even close). The quality of nursing home care varies significantly between facilities.

If you want to get better care in a nursing home for a family member, follow the below tips from our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys.

Research and Visit Multiple Facilities

Before making any decisions, research and visit several nursing homes in your area. Pay close attention to the cleanliness, organization, and overall atmosphere. Engage with the staff and ask questions about their experience, training, and staff-to-resident ratio. Take note of how residents are treated and if they appear content and well-cared for.

Check for Licensing and Certifications

Ensure that the nursing home you choose is licensed and certified by relevant state and federal agencies. Look for certifications from Medicare and Medicaid, as these programs often have stringent requirements for participating facilities.

Review Online Reviews and Ratings

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to find reviews and ratings for nursing homes online. Websites like Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare offer valuable information on facility quality, staffing levels, and health inspection results. While online reviews can be helpful, they should be considered in conjunction with other factors, such as personal visits and recommendations from healthcare professionals.

Discuss Care Plans

Before choosing a nursing home, have a thorough discussion with the facility’s staff about the care plan. Ensure that the care plan is tailored to the resident’s specific needs, preferences, and medical conditions. Be assertive in asking questions. How will the nursing home prevent falls? If the resident is immobile, what pressure relieving methods will the facility use to stop bedsores from developing? Regularly review and update the care plan to adapt to changing circumstances.

Monitor Staffing Levels

Adequate staffing levels are crucial for ensuring quality care. Insufficient staff can lead to neglect and lower the quality of care provided. Be sure to inquire about staff-to-resident ratios and any available nurse or physician coverage, especially during evenings and weekends.

Advocate for Open Communication

Maintaining open and regular communication with the nursing home staff is essential. Discuss concerns, questions, and expectations openly. This not only ensures that your needs or those of your loved one are met but also helps build a positive relationship with the staff.

Promote Resident Engagement

Look for a nursing home that encourages resident engagement and activities. Social interaction and engagement can significantly impact a resident’s physical and mental well-being. Participating in group activities, outings, and events can help maintain a sense of community and purpose.

Be Aware of Resident Rights

Familiarize yourself with resident rights and responsibilities within the nursing home setting. Residents have the right to respectful treatment, privacy, and dignity. Be vigilant in ensuring these rights are upheld and advocate for them when necessary.

Regularly Inspect the Facility

Even after admission, stay vigilant. Regularly inspect the facility to ensure it continues to meet your expectations. Look out for signs of neglect or abuse, and report any concerns to the nursing home administration and appropriate authorities if necessary.

Improving Care in a Skilled Nursing Facility

Getting better care in a nursing home requires due diligence, open communication, and advocacy. By thoroughly researching facilities, engaging with staff, and staying involved in the care plan, you can help ensure the best possible care for yourself or your loved one. Remember that proactive involvement is key to maintaining the highest standards of care in a nursing home.

Ultimately, if the care falls below expectations and your loved one is injured, be a voice for the voiceless. Report elder abuse and neglect and contact our nursing home negligence attorneys to receive a free case consultation. We are here to help you understand your legal rights after a preventable tragedy occurs inside a skilled nursing facility.

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