Nobody wants to put their elderly loved one in a home. It’s a horrible, stressful time. You have to face the fact that they can’t care for themselves, and that you can’t provide them the care that they need. That’s when you have to turn to professionals.
Placing your parent or other elderly loved one into a nursing home means entrusting others with their safety and care. It’s vital that you ask the right questions so you can be sure the long-term care facility into which they will be moving is a qualified and caring one. Learn the most important questions you absolutely must ask when choosing a nursing home to ensure your loved ones are properly cared for and protected.
Choosing a Nursing Home
Choosing a nursing home isn’t something that should ever be taken lightly. While we all like to think these facilities are professional, compassionate, and caring, elder abuse and neglect is actually something that happens all too often. There are many great facilities out there, and you need to know what to ask in order to find the best for your loved one.
Is the Location Convenient?
You’re going to want to be able to visit your parent in the nursing home. It’s vital to have a convenient location. You don’t want to have to drive three hours every time you want to see them. Whether it’s a parent or an elderly spouse, long distance travel could seriously damage your relationship and exacerbate any other problems that may exist.
How Is the Food?
When you visit the home, take the time to have a meal in the cafeteria. The quality of the food is a good indicator of the overall quality of the care the facility gives you. After all, the facility isn’t just tasked with making sure your loved one’s medical needs are cared for, but that their nutritional needs are met as well.
What Does it Sound Like?
Listening to a home doesn’t necessarily mean listening for sounds of residents calling for help—this can be simply indicative of dementia, or someone who just needs assistance. Rather, pay attention to how the residents and staff engage. Make sure that staff are calling residents by name, and not “mom” or “grandma.” Look for signs of respect, like the staff addressing them as “Mr.” or “Mrs.”
How Does the Staff Look?
Short staffing is one of the biggest problems that can lead to neglect and abuse. Ask yourself how the staff looks. Do they look tired or overworked, or unhappy? Spend some time talking to them. Ask them what their average weekly hours are, and how often they work double shifts or overtime. If the nursing home seems understaffed or overworked, that can be a red flag.
What Does Your Attorney Think?
If you have an elder law or estate planning attorney, it never hurts to ask what they think about the facility. They’ve likely dealt with a lot of nursing homes, and they may have some important insight. If you’re in the Cuyahoga County area and you need any help or advice with estate planning needs, the attorneys at the Stano Law Firm are here to help. Give us a call today!