How to Protect Your Loved One in a Nursing Home

As our loved ones age, it can become necessary for them to move to a nursing home or long-term care facility. Nursing homes can provide a safe and caring environment for those who need constant care.

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is a widespread problem in the U.S. It’s heartbreaking to think that our loved ones could potentially be at risk of suffering in a nursing home.

Turning over the care of your loved one to strangers can be a difficult choice to make, but there is so much you can do to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved one. In this article, we go over some of the essential steps you can take to protect your loved ones in a nursing home. 

Research the Nursing Home

Before you choose a nursing home, it’s vital to do your research. Use online resources to compare nursing homes in your area based on quality ratings. Also, make sure to read reviews and testimonials from former residents and their families.

Speak with the nursing home staff and ask them questions regarding the policies and procedures regarding resident safety and quality of life. A nursing home’s reputation is crucial and essential when choosing a facility for your loved one.

Visit Frequently

Once your loved one is in a nursing home, make sure to visit them regularly. This can be emotionally draining, especially if your loved one has dementia or cannot communicate with you.

As hard as it may be, these frequent visits will allow you to check in on your loved one’s well-being and monitor their care. It also will show the staff that you are involved and concerned about your loved one’s care, which can help ensure they receive adequate attention.

Look Out for Signs of Neglect and Abuse

While visiting your loved one, watch for any signs of neglect or abuse. Different signs of neglect can include:

  • Untreated bedsores
  • Poor hygiene
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Lack of social interaction

Signs of abuse can include:

  • Unexplained bruises or injuries
  • Sudden changes in behavior (personality, mood, sleeping or eating habits, physical activity)
  • Reluctance to speak in front of certain staff members
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Lethargy

If you see any signs of neglect or abuse, immediately report them to the nursing home’s administration and follow up to ensure they take appropriate action. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved one if something is wrong or making them uncomfortable, but also consider they may be afraid to tell the truth out of fear of retribution. If you do uncover any abuse, be prepared to move them immediately. 

Get to Know the Staff

Take the time to get to know the staff members caring for your loved one. When you establish a relationship with the staff, you can help them understand your loved one’s needs and preferences, which can lead to even better care. If you have any concerns or questions, speak with the staff directly so you can work together to find solutions.

Be an Advocate for Your Loved One

If you feel that your loved one’s needs are not being met or that they are being mistreated, you must advocate for them. Speak with the nursing home’s administration and voice your concerns immediately. Don’t be afraid to be assertive when it comes to being an advocate for your loved one’s rights and well-being.

Understand Your Loved One’s Rights

Be sure to familiarize yourself with your loved one’s rights as a nursing home resident. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 outlines a list of rights that nursing home residents are entitled to, which includes the right to privacy, the right to be free from abuse and neglect, and the right to participate in their care plan. As mentioned above, if you believe your loved one’s rights are being violated, speak up and take action immediately.

Finding a Lawyer for an Loved One Abused in a Nursing Home

If you believe your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home, you must act as soon as possible. Your loved one has the right to work with an experienced lawyer who knows how to protect nursing home residents and will work hard to get justice for any suffering your loved one has endured.

At Pullano & Siporin, we know how gut-wrenching the decision can be to place a loved one in a nursing home. And to later find out that they are being neglected can make things even more difficult. Our team of expert lawyers can help you hold the nursing home accountable for their actions and get the compensation your loved one deserves. 

Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact us today to protect your loved one’s rights and ensure their safety.

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