Choosing the right nursing home for a loved one is not a decision that should be taken lightly. In addition to learning about the features and amenities that a nursing home facility has, it is also important to learn about how it runs its day-to-day operations, and if there have been any previous accusations of nursing home abuse.
Sokolove Law’s own Gabe Miller, who acts as our general counsel and regularly volunteers at a nursing home in Massachusetts, recently spoke with Lawyers.com about what families should do to make sure they do not put a loved one at an increased risk for nursing home abuse by choosing a substandard facility. Some recent nursing home abuse lawsuits stem from incidents that would have likely been avoided if workers at the facility had not been negligent in their care and properly tended to all their patients.
“It’s up to the nursing home to provide a safe environment for residents,” Miller said. “This is just a different form of neglect.”
One method Miller suggested to try and get a sense of how well a nursing home facility cares for its patients is to try and visit a facility numerous times, and even stop by unannounced to see how workers at the home act when they are not expecting a guest.
“A nursing home that doesn’t provide good care may try to get you in during a slow time,” Miller said. “I recommend that you visit the nursing home more than once, especially if they want you to come at a particular time. Try to make a not-scheduled visit and ask if someone can walk you around a bit. If they are defensive, that’s a problem.”
Looking up a nursing home facility online may also help a family learn about any lawsuits or accusations that have been levied against it in recent years.
Keeping an eye out for possible signs of negligence should not end once a family has chosen nursing home facility. Miller suggested looking for signs of neglect and possible nursing home abuse when visiting loved ones.
“Look for poor hygiene, too,” he said. “Is the person in clean clothes, hair combed, teeth brushed? Is the bed made? Is there sudden weight loss that’s not explainable by a particular illness?”
If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, there may be legal action worth pursuing. Call Sokolove Law today to learn more about pursuing a nursing home injury lawsuit.