Taking care of your aging parent in Kentucky can be exhausting and drain your resources when you have so many other things to handle. There is so much to worry about: meals, laundry, medication, and risks of falls to mention only a few. If at last you have taken the decision to bring your elderly parent into the care of a nursing home, the choice of the right caregiver will probably be the subject of heated debates. At the Louisville-based law offices of Gray and White Law, our attorneys have seen so many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect that the importance of selecting the right long term care facility can't be overrated. How do you screen nursing homes and make the right choice? Our recommendation:
Ask a lot of questions, and make sure you get facts, not just talk. A few examples:
General Impression: Is the place quiet, the manager capable and the staff friendly? Do the residents appear content, are they busy and socializing? Can you talk to the residents or staff? Is there a waiting list or are there many empty beds? Does the manager provide referrals?
Nursing Home Accommodation: Are the doorways, hallways, rooms and floors accommodating to elderly people, wheelchairs and walkers? Are there elevators and handrails? Is there an easy access to a garden or patio and are the outside areas safe and fenced? Is the facility clean and free of odor? Is the temperature acceptable? Do you see adequate lighting, fire-fighting equipment and an emergency evacuation plan? What personal items can the resident bring and can he decorate the room? Are the rooms furnished? Are they adequately equipped to handle residents with limited mobility? Is there a telephone, cable TV and an emergency button?
Moving In and Finances: How does the assessment process work, with whom? Is there a ongoing or regularly reviewed assessment? Do we get a written care plan and resident rights statement? Can we have a contract exemplar to study? Are all the costs included in the contract form? What are the excluded costs? What type of insurance is required and accepted? Are there additional levels of care available should the need arise, and at what cost? What is the process for terminating the contract? Is the resident or a family member the primary contractor or responsible? What credit or subsidies are available to cover the costs?
Health and Care Services: Can we be involved in developing the care plan? What care and therapy services are billed to Medicare / Medicaid or other party insurance? How does staff cope with Alzheimer, dementia, loss of memory, judgment or orientation? What are the activities of daily living (ADL) provided by staff, and how many hours per day? How are medical emergencies handled? How does the nursing home monitor residents taking medicine? Are there regular medical check-ups? Can we have a look at the daily records per patient?
Nursing Home Staff: How much staff is on the payroll, is available on reserve, per shift and per day? How many staff people can you count? How many residents are incapacitated? Does the staff number match the number of residents, how many are needed for the ADL of incapacitated residents? What is the staff rotation? What are the staff's qualifications? What kind of training do they receive? Can management prove what they claim?
Certification: Is the facility certified by Medicare / Medicaid? Is it a non-profit or for-profit organization? Can you look at their current license / certification? Does the administrator have a current license / certification? How long has it been in business? Can you have access to their financial statements? What group does it belong to? Were there any deficiencies noted on the Kentucky inspection report?
These are by no means all the questions. Important additional questions need to be asked about meals served, water and food supply, as well as about visits, social and personal activities. Your list will get longer as you discuss the subject with other members of your family and with the future resident.
Each time an answer is given, try to find a way to cross-check or get proof of what is claimed.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?
If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.