When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect that your family member will receive quality care. Sadly, that is not always the case. It is not uncommon for residents to feel isolated, underfed or forced to use doctors provided by the facility. Let’s take a look at some signs that your loved one may benefit from a different nursing home.
Your Loved One Seems Distant or Sad
If your normally cheerful mother or upbeat grandfather suddenly seems sad or depressed, it could be a sign of abuse. Your suspicions may be confirmed if your family member doesn’t want to talk about the abuse or seems afraid to do so. Changes in mood could be the result of isolation or the result of a head injury.
Visiting Hours Are Restricted
Generally speaking, you should be allowed to see your parent or grandparent at any time. In fact, many nursing homes allow visits at most hours to create a greater sense of transparency. If you are being told that you can’t visit your loved one during normal waking hours, it may be time to conduct an investigation as to why this is the case.
The Quality of Care Is Lacking
Not all nursing homes offer the same level of service to their residents. For instance, some merely provide rides to doctor’s appointments or other limited supervision. If your father or grandmother need a higher level of care, his or her needs may be better served at a different institution. The same is true if your family member complains about not being listened to by medical staff or not receiving needed medication at the current facility.
You Have Heard Negative Things About a Facility
If you find out that the doctors at your family member’s current facility have mistreated patients in the past, make a change immediately. The same is true if you discover that the facility has been reprimanded by state or federal medical boards. As a general rule, you have the option of removing a loved one from a given nursing home at any time without penalty.
In the event that a family member is hurt in a nursing home, you should contact a personal injury attorney. He or she may review the case and provide insight into your rights as a representative of an elderly family member. An attorney may also determine if you have the right to sue or if the matter must be handled through arbitration.