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Eight Ways to Inspect Nursing Home Care

Our last blog post, “Voice of the Vulnerable,” discussed the importance of the elder’s visitors to be vigilant in looking for signs of abuse or neglect. We also reiterated the warning signs of abuse such as changes in mood or appetite, bed sores, unexplained bruising or lacerations, etc. However, it can be hard to distinguish signs of trauma in just one individual, especially if they have dementia or a history of mood swings. For concerned visitors, family and friends, here is a list of actions you can take to more fully investigate the situation of your loved one’s current facility.

Protect Your Most Vulnerable Loved Ones

*This list was originally published in the April edition of our newsletter You Should Know.

  • Talk to residents or other patients. Observe their physical well-being and behavior. Also visit with residents’ families if possible, and learn whether they have experienced problems with the facility.
  • Avoid facilities that have restricted access.
  • Meet with key personnel (nurses, aides, social workers, administrators and doctors).
  • Read contracts carefully before signing and look for a forced arbitration clause. The rights of your loved one may be denied even if they are abused.
  • Visit frequently. Vary your visits to different times of the day and evening to assess the care provided during the day, night, weekends and holidays.
  • Trust your gut. Pay attention to whether residents appear clean, well fed and free of bruises or other wounds. Also note if the environment is peaceful and feels safe.
  • Document in writing the details about any problems or concerns.
  • Compare facilities. Look up state survey reports here.

No matter how you are related to the senior, or even the caregiver – volunteer, friend, or family member – if something concerns you about the older adult’s treatment or condition, report it to the authorities. One hotline you can use is 1-800-677-1116, provided by Eldercare.gov, U.S. Administration on Aging. You should also call a lawyer who will fight for the rights of abuse victims.

Our attorneys care about vulnerable seniors. We thoroughly investigate the resident’s circumstances, including medical records, medication records, care schedule and caregiver response times. We consult with qualified experts in geriatric medicine and nursing facility management. If abuse or neglect is confirmed, the facility is usually held liable for the actions of its employees. You can read more about fighting against elder abuse and neglect here, or call 414-273-7777 for a free consultation with our experienced lawyers at Sperling Law Offices LLC in Milwaukee.

*Parts of this post were originally published in You Should Know, April 2017. You Should Know is a copyrighted publication of Voice2News, LLC, and is made possible by Sperling Law Offices LLC. This newsletter is intended for the interest of past and present clients and other friends of this lawyer. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice.