As our parents age, we start to become more vigilant and our roles begin to reverse. Now it’s you worrying about whether or not your father made it home from his Tuesday night card game at the community center.
You begin to notice an increase of instances where he is forgetful about routine tasks, such as turning the stove off after cooking. His safety is becoming more of a priority and you know that he will not be able to live alone much longer. It is time to start looking at nursing home and assisted living facilities.
But, putting him in a facility brings a whole new set of worries. How can you be sure he is getting the care he needs? Can you trust the staff will not mentally or physically abuse him? You want your father to be comfortable but you also want him to be safe and free from elder abuse.
Read below for tips on choosing a safe nursing home for your elderly parent.
As you’re touring facilities, pay attention to how the staff talks to the residents. You should hear staff addressing the residents by their names instead of terms like “Grandpa” or “Granny.” Addressing the residents by their proper names, either first or last, is a sign of respect that keeps them from feeling diminished.
Pay attention to smells
Nursing facilities can have strange odors, usually due to medication, the effects of special diets, and residents that can no longer control their bowels or bladders. But, if you smell odors that are signs of not keeping the facility sufficiently cleaned, like the smell of stale urine, you may want to move on to another nursing home.
Talk with the staff
Talking with the staff will allow you to look for signs that they are overworked. Staff that is overworked can also be very stressed and tired. This can lead to mistakes made with medication, a lack of proper supervision for your father, and possibly even mistreatment due to frayed nerves and patience.
Look for bruising
As you’re touring facilities, pay attention to the other residents. Do you see signs of prevalent bruising? If so, this could be a sign of elder abuse occurring within the nursing home.
Check the level of social interactions
If the residents seem to be relegated to their rooms, without much social interaction then the quality of care at the facility may be below industry standards. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities should have a daily calendar of activities to keep the residents moving and social.
Choosing the right nursing home can mean a comfortable and safe quality of life for your parent during his final years. Regardless of how great you think the facility is, it is important to always stay vigilant for signs of elder abuse. If you have seen signs of elder abuse, contact a local Connecticut attorney for advice on filing a claim against the facility.