Many families struggle with the decision to place a loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Those unable to care for themselves will often want to remain living on their own, making it even more difficult to get the person to agree to a move. In many cases, an illness or injury has to result before the person will leave his or her home.
As the baby-boomer generation approaches retirement age, there are some potentially troubling signs looming. According to a recent study by the West Virginia University School of Medicine, which examined data compiled in a national health survey, baby boomers are less healthy than prior generations at their age. The survey indicated increases in obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol.
This may lead to more long-term health problems for baby boomers, which could result in more of these individuals needing to be placed into nursing homes. Family members may not know which home is best, and worry that they may be placing their loved one into a facility where nursing home abuse may occur.
Many of these facilities experience challenges retaining staff members. Because of the constant changes, it can be difficult to develop a consistent level of care. This can lead to several different types of potentially dangerous accidents, including:
- Falls: many individuals may have trouble walking, and if not monitored, could fall and suffer serious injuries
- Bedsores: if bedridden patients are not frequently attended to, bedsores can develop, leading to infections and other complications
- Medication errors: staff needs to carefully check the medications being dispensed to ensure proper dosages and medications are being given to each patient at the right time
Cost will always be a factor in selecting a nursing home, but families should thoroughly review the places they are considering. This includes taking a tour of the facility, and also interviewing some of the staff that will be responsible for providing care to your loved one. Additionally, there are resources available to consumers to determine if the residence has had any complaints filed against them in the past.
If your loved is complaining about the quality of care that they are receiving, take these concerns seriously. If you notice signs of abuse, find a different facility as soon as possible.
Once you have made sure your family member is receiving the care and attention that he or she needs, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your options. It is important to hold facilities responsible for the damages that they have caused. This can help prevent other families from having to deal with the same issues in future.