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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Nursing Homes: Choosing the Best Facility & Detecting Signs of Neglect or Abuse

When a family member must move into a nursing home, finding a facility that meets all of your needs can be challenging. In addition to the rooms, the food, the entertainment, and other aspects of the physical location, the quality of resident care is a primary consideration. There have been many studies in New York regarding certain factors related to quality of care received during short- and long-term care. Knowing how the facilities that you are considering perform in these specific areas can improve your choice of nursing home. Also, if you or a loved one is receiving care in a nursing home, and you suspect the care received may be substandard, consider the issues in the second section, below, as well.

Choosing a facility: Quality ratings analyze common issues.

Quality of care provided by New York nursing homes can be rated on several common factors. The better the rating in each area, the better the care that is likely to be provided. Using these factors as a guide when choosing a facility can help make sure you find one that meets all of your needs. The factors below are relevant to short-term care:

  • Residents self-reporting moderate to severe pain;
  • High-risk residents with pressure ulcers that are new or worsening;
  • Residents given seasonal influenza vaccine;
  • Residents given the pneumococcal vaccine;
  • Residents who newly received anti-psychotic medication.

Furthermore, there are additional considerations for residents during long-term stays:

  • Residents whose needs for daily assistance has increased;
  • High-risk residents who develop bed sores;
  • Residents who have inexplicably lost a significant amount of weight;
  • Low-risk residents who lose bowel or bladder function;
  • Residents who were catheterized and it was left in their bladder;
  • Residents with urinary tract infections;
  • Residents with signs of depression;
  • Residents who needed to be restrained physically;
  • Residents who experience falls accompanied by a major injury.

The factors above indicate that, at times, there can be issues with the level of care received. For example, a fall with a major injury could be a sign of substandard care. It makes sense to choose a nursing home that scores higher on the quality scales. The facility can provide this information. Also, there are reports available reviewing the nursing homes which rate them on these factors.

Signs of neglect or abuse in nursing home residents.

Certain quality of care considerations may be made at the time of choosing a facility, such as bedsores suffered by residents. In other cases, signs of nursing home neglect or abuse may appear after resident care has begun. Listed below are important ways to inquire about the care received in a facility. These indicators identify potential neglect or abuse:

  • Marked physical or emotional changes: Such as unexplained bruises or emotional withdrawal.
  • Unanswered or deflected questions: If staff is questioned and refuses to directly answer your concerns.
  • Frantic or inadequate staff: If caregivers are disorganized it may indicate there a not enough of them or they are poorly trained.
  • ‘I don’t want a particular staff member to care for me…’: Residents may not be able to say exactly why they don’t like a staff member, and this type of statement should merit further inquiry.
  • Dehydration and malnourishment: Loss of weight or statements by residents that they missed a meal or don’t get enough water could be serious indicators of neglect.

If you suspect neglect or abuse while receiving nursing home care in New York state, you should contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP for a free case evaluation immediately, by phone at (516) 358-6900. We care about the care you receive.

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