It is never easy to move your parents into a nursing home, and when you do, you may wonder how to keep tabs on them. This is critical, as you should never assume anything about the level of care that your parent will receive in their new home. Below, we discuss a few ways to keep track of parents in a nursing home.
Keep in Consistent Contact With the Nursing Home
You should ensure that your parents are in the right place for them, and never assume that because the home is relatively expensive or has a good word-of-mouth reputation it is the best. Do not stress unnecessarily but also ensure that you take steps to monitor your parents, especially early on in the transition process.
Some ways to keep track of your parents in a nursing home include:
- Familiarizing yourself with administrators in the home and asking if they are willing to provide updates on how your parents’ transition is progressing.
- Set up a schedule for communicating with your parents.
- Visit as frequently as they are comfortable with, especially early on in their stay.
- Urge them to alert you to anything that they are struggling with, assuring them that they are not bothering you by doing so.
- Asking them to call you via FaceTime, Skype, or another video chat platform, which can be more intimate than phone calls.
You should ensure that your parents are comfortable in their new nursing home, but your first and foremost concern should be for their safety and wellbeing. This means that you should learn to recognize signs that something may be amiss.
Do Not Blindly Trust Nursing Home Administrators and Staff
Running and working in a nursing home is not always easy, and you should be understanding in your interactions with nursing home administrators and staff members. With that in mind, nobody cares more for your parents than you do, and it is in your interest to familiarize yourself with problems that commonly affect nursing homes and their residents.
Get to Know Your Parents’ Nursing Home Administrators
Nursing home administrators are in charge of the big-picture decisions that will impact your parents’ daily quality of life. You should feel free to ask questions of these administrators, not only for the benefit of your parents but for the sake of all the residents of the nursing home. Some questions to ask to ensure that your parents will be safe and comfortable include:
- How do you vet your staff?
- How many staff members do you keep on duty, and what is the staff-to-resident ratio? (This is important, as many nursing homes are understaffed.)
- What are the qualifications to be a caregiver here?
- How often during the day will my parents receive care, and what will that care look like?
- What sort of activities are available?
- What recourse do my parents have if they feel mistreated by staff or another resident?
- How will you alert me if something is wrong with my parents?
- What are your procedures in the case of a medical emergency?
- Are caregivers qualified to respond to a medical emergency?
- Can I contact you personally? If not, who will be my contact point at the nursing home?
These are just a few basic questions that you should ask before, during, and after your parents move into a nursing home to help you keep track of their time in a nursing home. The consistency and content of responses you receive will help you determine whether your parents are in good hands. If the actions of nursing home administrators do not align with their responses to these questions, you may have reason for concern as you seek to keep track of your parents in a nursing home.
Ensure That Direct Caregivers Are Treating Your Parents Well
Administrators are important, but the care that staff in direct contact with your parents provide in the nursing home is just as important. Ask your parents how frequently they are receiving direct care, and how they feel about the caregivers themselves.
You may also want to keep an eye out for possible signs of neglect and abuse, especially as your parents become less capable of self-care. These signs may include:
- The emergence of bedsores, bruises, cuts, burns, and broken bones.
- Poor hygiene and a disheveled appearance, such as appearing unshaven or unkempt.
- Signs of trauma or anxiety, such as rocking back and forth, exhibiting withdrawn or depressed tendencies, and recoiling from your touch.
If, as you keep track of your parents in a nursing home, you suspect that your parent suffered mistreatment, you should speak to administrators about your concerns. If your suspicions persist over time, contact law enforcement and then a lawyer.
If You Suspect Mistreatment, Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you file a personal injury claim if you believe that your parent suffered mistreatment in a nursing home. Call our team today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case. Our clients pay nothing upfront, nothing out of pocket, and nothing at all unless we secure a judgement or settlement.