Families can try to avoid nursing home neglect with these tips

One of the hardest decisions for Pennsylvania residents may be when they have to put a loved one in a nursing home. Although one may want to care for their loved one on their own, it may not always be possible. At the same time, it can be scary to entrust a family member's safety in the hands of another. This is especially true when one considers that nursing homes are sometimes accused of nursing home neglect. Luckily, with a few tips, Pennsylvania residents can hopefully find a safe place for their loved one.

The best first step may be to carefully research local nursing homes. There are numerous places online where one can obtain information regarding reviews and violation history. Medicare provides information on every nursing home in the United States that is certified by Medicaid or Medicare. It also doesn't hurt to ask around as word-of-mouth is often a valuable way to obtain unbiased information.

When searching for the history of violations of a nursing home, don't forget that nursing homes are held to very high standards. Some violations may be minor and not be considered dangerous at all. Therefore, pay particular attention to the more severe violations. These may include prior abuse and neglect or a resident leaving the premises.

Don't forget to take a tour of the nursing home and examine how staff interacts with the residents. Some of the best nursing homes often have staff calling residents by their name and will most definitely show that they care in one way or another. Also, it may be beneficial to find out how long employees have been employed at the home. If there's a high turnover, then there may be a reason for it.

If it all feels wrong in the gut, then move on. The last thing families want is to put their loved ones in a nursing home that is not going to treat them well. However, when nursing home neglect is suspected, it is important that it is reported. Family members in Pennsylvania who believe their loved one has been neglected or abused may opt to assess their right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the nursing home and its staff based upon specific evidence of wrongdoing.

Source: US News and World Report, "5 Traits of the Worst Nursing Homes", Geoff Williams, May 7, 2014

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