How to Make Certain Your Loved One is Receiving Quality Care

If you already have a loved one receiving nursing home care, you probably want to make sure that a good nursing home was chosen. Contact your nursing home administrator, and ask for information that might show how the procedures and quality of care provided in their nursing home compare with the minimum requirements of state and federal regulations. The more physically dependent the patient is, the more at risk they are to serious problems and illnesses that could occur without the appropriate level of care. To be certain your loved one is not at risk for unnecessary health problems due to abuse or negligence, here is a list of areas in which you may wish to investigate.

Seek the assistance of the Nursing Home

If members of the nursing home staff are uncooperative or hinder your investigation in any way, then you need to acquire the assistance of the nursing home’s administration. The administration should consist of an Administrator and a Director of Nursing. Cooperation and communication are important things to have with the people in charge of the care of your loved one. If you find them to be uncooperative, especially at the administrational level, you should consider whether or not this nursing home is safe place for your loved one.

Get to know the staff

Getting to know the members of the nursing home’s staff is beneficial for several reasons. It will increase the quality of communication and cooperation between you and the people who care for your loved one. You should also get an idea of the staff’s credentials. Most importantly, you should know how many Certified Nursing Assistants work in the nursing home. Many nursing homes do not staff enough CNA’s to meet the needs of their patient population. This means that the time a CNA spends tending to your loved one’s needs is often rushed and insufficient. Also, an overworked staff is a staff more likely to be responsible for elder abuse and neglect.

Plan of Care

According to federal law, each nursing home patient should have a personalized “Plan of Care,” which is molded to fit their individual needs.

This “Plan of Care” should be cooperatively written by the home’s Director of Nursing and the patient’s family. The family needs to request their own copy of this plan and should share it with the members of the nursing home staff who care for the patient daily.

Visit Regularly & Randomly

Regular visitation is the only way to assess the quantity and quality of care that your loved one is receiving. It is important to stagger the timing of your visits so that the nursing home staff does not always know what time to expect you. It is also important to keep in mind that the dinner and evening hours are usually the busiest hours for the nursing home staff, and an evening visit will give you an idea of the amount of quality care that your loved one is given during the busy times of the day. During your visits you should also be checking your loved one for signs of negligence such as malnutrition, dehydration, untreated illness or infection, and bedsores. It is up to the patient’s visitors to make sure that the nursing home is providing sufficient amounts quality care, and it is not inappropriate to make the nursing home staff aware of the fact that you are knowledgeable of what to look for and that you are keeping a look out for any and all negative warning signs.

If you or a loved one is receiving nursing home care, it is important to make sure that the best possible care is being provided. To be sure, visit and evaluate the nursing home’s staff and residents to see how the levels of care provided in your nursing home compare with state and federal regulations.