Placing a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision. With the number of nursing home abuse cases in the news, you want to be sure that the nursing home you choose will treat your loved one with the highest level of care. As a nursing home abuse lawyer, I understand how difficult it can be to find a good nursing home.
According to US News, only twenty-one percent of nursing homes in Indiana earned an overall five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. When searching for a nursing home in Bloomington, you can begin by narrowing your search to a nursing home that received the top rating for overall performance in nurse staffing, quality of medical care, and health inspections.
In addition to searching for a nursing home that meets the standards of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for a five-star rating, you should also check with the Indiana State Department of Health for complaints against nursing homes that are on your “shortlist.” You can also consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer. We usually know which nursing homes in the area receive the most complaints about nursing home abuse.
Tips for Choosing a Nursing Home in Bloomington
Choosing a nursing home for your loved one is one of the most important decisions you will make on behalf of a family member. When you are searching for a Bloomington nursing home, you should visit several nursing homes to observe the day-to-day observations. You can learn a great deal by simply sitting and watching the staff and residents. Things to pay attention to during your tour of a nursing home include:
- Where are the residents? Are they tucked away in their rooms with the television on or are they in the halls, around the nurses’ station, and sitting near the front door. Be concerned with nursing homes where all of the residents are in their rooms — this could be the result of a lack of care and interaction between the residents and the staff.
- How does the facility look and smell? While some smells may be unavoidable in a nursing home because some patients may have special diets and medications that lead to more gas and some residents may lose control of their bladder and bowels, a nursing home should not have a foul odor that seems to slap you in the face when you enter the building. On the other hand, the building should not smell like someone poured gallons of bleach everywhere. You want a facility that appears clean and neat and only has faint odors that would be common for this age group.
- How does the food taste? This may seem like an odd thing to check; however, your family member needs to eat a well-balanced meal to keep up his or her strength and remain healthy. If the food is not prepared well, your family member will not be encouraged to eat. Visit the nursing home during meals and consider dining with some of the residents in the cafeteria. You will not only get a good sense of the quality of the foodservice but you will also be able to interact with residents (and they will enjoy the company).
- Talk to family members of other residents. If you have the opportunity to talk with family members of other residents, you may learn a great deal about the facility. Have they noticed any unexplained bruises or bed sores? How does the staff interact with the residents? Is the staff responsive to the personal care needs of the residents?
- What is the number of staff members to patients? If a nursing home is understaffed, residents are at a higher risk of receiving poor care. Look for a facility with a high number of Registered Nurses in addition to Certified Nursing Assistants.
The above suggestions are just a few tips for choosing a nursing home. You can get more detailed information about choosing a nursing home for your loved one from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services and Indiana State Department of Health. The CMS has an excellent nursing home checklist you can use when touring nursing homes.
Do You Need a Bloomington Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse occurs even in the best nursing homes. If you believe your loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with our nursing home abuse lawyer.
Call The Ken Nunn Law Office at 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536 for more information.