For any family, the decision to move a loved one into nursing home can be one of the most heart-wrenching choices you can make. Feelings of apprehension, anxiety and sadness are often part of the equation. In addition to a mix of conflicting emotions, a family will worry whether the nursing home’s staff will be able to provide an appropriate standard of care with the kindness and dignity their loved one deserves.
These worries unfortunately are not unsubstantiated.
A Senate report earlier this summer named nearly 400 nursing home facilities with a persistent record of poor care. Some of the key issues highlighted were critical sanitary problems, sewage backups into kitchens, and failure to use sanitized equipment on patients, among others.
These types of systemic failures are indicative of nursing home negligence that happens across South Florida and Southwest Florida regularly. Family members and loved ones of residents of such homes may decide to file a personal injury lawsuit or nursing home negligence lawsuit on their behalf.
How you can Decide Which Nursing Home Facility is Best
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) offers an online nursing home comparison tool where prospective residents and their families can review important information about the quality of services offered and any red flags about potential issues. Additionally, CMS publicly discloses the names of specific facilities that are designated by the federal government agency as having substantial quality issues.
Unfortunately, the 400 facilities highlighted in this summer’s U.S. Senate report do not fall under CMS’ list even though they face the same systemic problems. CMS claims it is due to budgetary constraints.
How you can Determine Unsafe Facilities
While there are lists and online sites such as the CMS site, the burden of choosing the appropriate nursing home still falls on your shoulders. If you feel that a nursing home is the best option for a loved one, there are a few tips you should consider before choosing.
- Observe staff over the course of a day. Are they overworked or disengaged? Do they practice safe and sanitary medical treatment? Are they professional and courteous?
- Check the cafeteria and taste the food. The food and its presentation is a good barometer for cleanliness and quality.
- Take a smell test. There are of course certain smells that will always be associated with this type of facility, but stale, rotten or other types of smells can be a warning sign.
- Check the cleanliness of the facility in all rooms and bathrooms. A lack of proper maintenance and hygiene can be indicative of larger problems.
Our experienced Miami and Naples nursing home abuse attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen will put your family’s priorities first. If you or someone you care about has been injured or involved in nursing home abuse across South Florida or Southwest Florida, contact the nursing home abuse lawyers and Miami and Naples personal injury attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen at 305-374-1011 or 239-793-3331, or visit fairnessforall.com for an absolutely free legal consultation to learn more about your options.