Greenville, SC- Placing a loved one in a nursing home is a very difficult decision especially since incidents of abuse and neglect are far too common. People like to think when they place an elderly relative in a nursing home or other long-term care they won’t be harmed or their needs won’t be ignored. Choosing a South Carolina nursing home can be a difficult task but it can assure your aging loved one will receive quality care and aren’t abused.
What to look for when choosing a South Carolina nursing home?
How a nursing home is staffed is one of the most important things one must consider when choosing a nursing home. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult task since many nursing homes in South Carolina are understaffed.
Neglect of a nursing home resident is more common than abuse, and typically occurs when a facility is understaffed or has poorly trained staff. South Carolina nursing homes with a high patient to staff ratio, have difficulties giving each resident the care they need and deserve so it is important to ask any facility you are considering what that patient-to-staff ratio is. Neglect in a long-term care facilities or nursing home is generally unintentional, but it can nonetheless cause significant physical harm to an elderly nursing home resident.
Your proximity to a nursing home is also an important thing to consider when choosing a South Carolina nursing home. When you begin looking for a nursing home, it is important to take a close look at facilities near your home or the home of another family member to ensure someone is able to make regular visits. Nursing home residents who have regular visitors are less likely to be targeted by abusers.
What should I do before make my final decision?
If you’ve been looking for the right nursing home there are a number of things you should do before making your final decision.
First, look up a prospective home in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine if the home is covered under Medicare or Medicaid. They have a handy checklist to take with you when you are scoping out a facility.
Secondly, check with South Carolina’s Long Term Care Ombudsman to determine if the home has had any complaints of abuse or neglect or a poor record of maintaining their facility. The ombudsman will be aware of the nature of the complaints, whether they are severe or minor and if the complaints have been verified.
Before making this very important decision of choosing a nursing home for your loved one, you should visit the facility on a few occasions. This will give you a first-hand look at how the facility is run, and how the staff treats the residents.
When you make your initial visit, go around lunch time since this generally the busiest time of day. This will give you the opportunity to evaluate if the home is properly staffed. If they don’t have enough people on staff at this time of the day, you can be sure the facility won’t be properly staffed in the evening or overnight. As you begin to narrow your search make a point to visit in the weekend.
You can prevent your loved one from facing neglect or abuse at a facility by visiting your loved one often. This will make them happy, and will also give a family member a good idea if the facility is well-staffed. This will also give an individual the opportunity to see how the staff members treat each patient, and raise alarm if they notice any aggressive or hostile behavior on the behalf of a staff member.
Choosing the right nursing home is not an easy task and isn’t an absolute guarantee your loved one won’t be neglected or subjected to abuse in a long term care facility, unfortunately. But it can give you peace of mind. If you find that your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected, a South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney can advise you whether to pursue an injury suit.