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How to Keep Your Elderly Loved One Safe

By Timothy Bussey on October 7, 2020

The choice to put your elderly loved one in a nursing home is not an easy one. You would only make such a difficult decision with the understanding that your loved one will receive better care in a nursing home or long-term care facility than you can provide yourself. Sadly, a nursing home that seems wholesome and loving on the outside could easily turn out to be rotten on the inside. Knowing how to find the perfect nursing home could mean the difference between your loved one spending their last years in comfort and ease, and being abused emotionally, physically, and financially.

When Nursing Homes Become Nightmares

It may surprise you, but nursing home abuse is a very real issue that impacts millions of elderly Americans every day. Older people, due to being weak, disabled, and ill, are at a high risk of being abused. Many elderly people struggle with memory problems, such as dementia, that make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to report any abuse. This makes it easy for staff to take advantage of them and avoid getting caught. The fact of the matter is nursing homes are a relatively safe place for abusers to work. That is why selecting the right nursing home takes time and patience.

How to Choose the Right Nursing Home

There are several steps you can take in order to ensure that your loved one is placed in a responsible and respectful nursing home. If you are looking for a facility to take care of your loved one, we recommend that you:

Visit the facility: This may seem obvious, but you should always visit a facility before settling on it. Schedule your first visit, but when it comes time to visit again, don’t let the home know that you’re coming. That way you can get a more honest look at how the staff treat residents. Do the residents look happy? Are they engaging with each other and with the staff? Is the facility clean? Are the kitchens well-stocked and properly sanitized?

Ask questions: Don’t just ask management how your loved one will be treated. Speak with staff members and current residents. Be sure to look into what your loved one will be doing in their day-to-day life. What activities will be available to them? What care is provided? Are they able to spend time outside? Is the food nutritious, healthy, and well prepared?

Check reviews and reports: Do research on your desired nursing home. Any facility that receives Medicare or Medicaid-funding must report violations, and you can look them up online through the Medicare nursing home database. For facilities that provide care to residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you can contact the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter for suggestions. Lastly, you can also check with the Colorado Long-term Care Ombudsman, a program that directly investigates and reviews all long-term care facilities in Colorado. When reviewing a facility, make sure to ask the following questions. Are there are any current reports on them about negligent behavior? Have they been fined in the past for negligent or abusive behavior? What do others seem to be saying? Do they have a good rating?

Talk with friends and family: You likely have friends and other family members who have had to go through the same process. Ask them what facility they ended up deciding on and whether they still believe that was the right choice. A friend may know the perfect place for your loved one. Remember though, you should still thoroughly vet any possible facility, even if a good friend recommended it to you.

Ask your loved one what they want: Finally, have a conversation with your elderly loved one. After all, their opinion on where they stay may be the most important one of all. You want to make sure you are providing them with a home that they are comfortable with.

Making sure that your elderly loved one is taken care of is difficult. You never know when a cruel staff member may slip under the radar and be allowed to abuse residents. That is why we at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. are so dedicated to helping the most vulnerable of our society. If your loved one has been abused at their nursing home, call our firm at (719) 475-2555 to get in touch with a compassionate and determined Colorado Springs personal injury attorney. We are here to offer a helping hand.

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