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Keeping a loved one in a nursing home safe, part 1

Unable to care for loved ones themselves, each day residents of Pennsylvania make the difficult decision to move the family into nursing homes. When selecting a new home, it is not uncommon for people to visit and research many facilities. Even when these steps are taken it is possible that sub-par care can lead to injuries and death of residents.

While taking the time to research these facilities is definitely a good idea, it should not end there. Because mental and physical abuse can occur anywhere, it is important to remain vigilant regarding a loved one’s care even after they are moved in. In the next two posts, we will discuss signs that could indicate that there are problems such as nursing home neglect occurring.

Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the things to watch for involve nursing home staff. For example, when questions about a loved one’s care and medical condition are posed, nursing home staff should not try to avoid answering the queries. Even if they do not immediately have an answer, a willingness to look into the matter should be displayed.

There should be enough facility employees around and available to answer the questions posed. In addition, the staff should generally have a good disposition and regularly interact with residents. Along the same lines, a rapid or seemingly regular turnover in facility caregivers is also a red flag. In addition to signaling possible issues with the facility, it also deprives residents of the opportunity to create and maintain relationships with their caregivers. It should particularly be noted if a loved one has issues with a specific caregiver. This may not be displayed verbally. Body language could be indicating an issue.

We will continue this discussion in our next post where we will focus on other warning signs to watch for concerning nursing homes.

Source: U.S.News & World Report, “9 Warning Signs of Bad Care,” Kurtis Hiatt, Feb. 26, 2013

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