Telltale Signs of a Bad Nursing Home
When considering possible nursing home facilities for your loved one, it is important to carefully assess each candidate facility and determine if it is a place where your loved one will be safe, cared for, and comfortable. Paying for nursing home care for your loved one can be expensive, but sometimes the cheaper nursing home options offer poorer service and a lower standard of living for the residents who live in the facility. The United States Department of Health and Human Services has reported that it costs on average just over $6,000 per month for a resident to live in a semi-private room and nearly $7,000 per month for a private room. These rates can be a financial burden on those family members who have to provide for their elderly loved ones.
- Extensive history of standard of care violations. State and federal laws and regulations prescribe standards of care at nursing homes. However, some nursing homes operate on less than optimal budgets or will deliberately take steps to maximize profits without any consideration for the residents. This type of behavior can produce an abusive living situation for the unfortunate residents who live in the facility. Staffers and management will try to cut corners, and the residents are the individuals who suffer the consequences of those actions. The good news is that researching whether a nursing home facility has a history of care violations is relatively easy to do online. There are many different tools available online that can help you compare nursing homes.
- High turnover fact of nursing staff. When nursing homes have tight budgets or are trying to maximize profits, full-time staff are often pushed to their limits and overworked. This can frustrate the workers, and cause them to quit, leaving the facility understaffed. Similarly, some nursing homes regularly hire contract staffers, meaning that the workers are hired on a day-by-day basis. Contract workers will often float from facility to facility, accepting work that pays the most for their time. This means that a contract worker might be at the facility one day and then gone the next. Nursing homes with high rates of staff turnover can pose a poor living arrangement for the residents of the home. When nurses are constantly coming and going, they cannot develop a relationship with the residents. A relationship between the caregiver and the resident can be beneficial since the caregiver can come to understand the residents’ unique care requirements. Also, a high turnover rate can mean that a resident might accidentally be forgotten, and therefore neglected.
- Residents are not permitted to make choices about their living situations. A good nursing home will try and give residents many opportunities to make decisions about their own care. Allowing residents to make such decisions can increase their sense of independence and can give them purpose. Simple decisions, such as which activities to engage in during social and activity times, choosing what food to have at mealtimes and deciding when to take walks, can have a huge impact on how residents feel about themselves. Nursing homes that minimize residents’ ability to make decisions often are doing so in order to cut budgetary corners. Only offering one meal option or one activity is designed to be cheap and shows little concern with providing residents options.
If you are concerned that your loved one is suffering abuse from nursing home staff because the facility is deliberately cutting corners in how it cares for residents, you should contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney today to discuss your concerns. Contact The Rooth Law Firm today at (847) 869-9100, or reach out to us online for a free consultation.