Nursing Home Placement
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento nursing home negligence attorney. We all expect quality of care and the quality of life to go hand in hand in the treatment of our loved one. But incidences of long term care/nursing home abuse in California is growing rapidly. Every day members of our senior population are victimized. If your loved one is a victim of negligence or abuse in a nursing home or residential facility, there are likely other residents at the nursing home who are also being neglected or abused.
How to Protect Your Loved One from Poor Nursing Home Care
Placing a family member in a nursing home is difficult. Most families are not given the time or information to plan or choose a facility, since the placement need often follows an unexpected illness or injury. This necessary placement coupled with the feelings of loss, abandonment and fear on the part of the person placed and the guilt and helplessness of the family having to place them, make for a stressful situation. However, you do have rights, the day to day decisions are not out of your hands. Start by investigating facilities in your area at www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare.
Advocating for your Loved One
Both patient and family have the right to input regarding care, and reasonable accommodations should be made in accordance with personal preferences, desires and needs (such as setting schedules, choosing specific staff and room assignments) to ensure that daily living activities are maintained.
Be A Proactive Family Member
Family members should be proactive. Keep notes of observations made during your visits. Vary your visiting times to get a good feel for staff and facility. Listen and pay attention to changes in your loved one. Get copies of all monthly assessments (physical and mental condition; medications; speech, hearing and vision) and join in monthly care meetings (give your input). Follow-up in writing to make sure changes you request are followed. Get second opinions and do your own physical inspections (under the guise of helping to dress or giving back rubs), document by taking pictures.
Suspect Neglect or Abuse?
Watch for signs of physical abuse such as unexplained bruises, scratches, marks (on face, inner arms, breast, thighs, and genital area), restraint marks, weight loss, dehydration, and frequent falls. Watch for signs of over medication such as drowsiness, depression, cracked lips, vacant stare, tics, drooling, slurred or rambling speech, slumping in chair, incontinence problems (some can be reversible by changing medications), watch for unjustified use of catheters and feeding tubes. Check for personal hygiene changes such as urine smell, oral hygiene, maintaining hair, clean and cut finger and toe nails as well as clean clothing and bed linens.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for possible financial abuse of your loved one. This can happen through fraudulent billings and/or missing personal belongings.
Social Media Abuse
Be aware of the growing problem of social media abuse, where patients right to privacy are violated when nursing home staff take humiliating photos and upload them to facebook, twitter, instigram and snapchat.
The signs of elder abuse can be very subtle and a senior who is being abused usually fails to report the abuse.
Related Articles by Ed Smith:
- Nursing Home Neglect: Signs and Symptoms
- Debubitus Ulcers also known as Bed Sores/Pressure Sores
- Emotional Abuse: Signs and Symptoms
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Sacramento
I’m Edward Smith, a Sacramento Nursing Home Abuse attorney. If you or someone in your family has suffered negligence or abuse, please call me at 916-921-6400 for free, friendly advice. Or, toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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Image attribution: Wikimedia Commons