Conducting a Nursing Home Pre-placement Investigation?


December 02, 2013

Family members may wish to conduct a thorough investigation before selecting a place to live for their aging loved one. When investigating a nursing home facility, it may be advisable to conduct several physical walkthroughs of the facility with at least one or two unannounced visits being on different days/times. This will provide an opportunity for you to see the facility staffing levels and responsiveness of caregivers at random times. While it may be obvious that a facility that appears unsanitary or reeks of urine, feces or vomit should probably be viewed skeptically, nice facilities that appear to be clean and state-of-the-art can hide hidden dangers. Because insufficient staffing is the leading cause of abuse and neglect in nursing homes, family members may wish to pay particular attention to the number of staff members and the promptness and efficiency of staff when responding to requests for assistance from elderly residents.

An effective pre-placement investigation also might include interviewing the administrator about hiring practices and background check; minimum and average staffing levels; procedures to prevent falls, pressure sores, infection or wandering; procedures to ensure proper nutrition, hydration and medication; and other issues related to safety and quality of care. A valuable resource that you may wish to consult is Medicare.gov Nursing Home Comparison Website. This site provides detailed reviews, comparisons and inspection histories for nursing homes that accept Medicare.

Confirm Implementation of Safety Protocols: Nursing homes generally are required to implement special procedures for elderly residents that suffer from physical or mental impairments that pose a greater risk of injury. Family members should inquire about such special procedures if a love one has limited mobility, or an aging family member is prone to falls or wandering. The administrator usually will outline such special safety precautions during the intake process. It may be advisable for family members to follow-up regarding these special procedures to ensure they are actually implemented.

Once you do select a nursing home, be alert for and follow up on unexplained injuries or changes in mood.  While there are innocent explanations for bruises, dislocations, abrasions, broken bones or depression, any injuries or sudden changes in behavior or mood by a senior merit closer examination. While it can sometimes be difficult to determine the cause of such injuries or changes in personality if an elderly nursing home resident suffers from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, it is important to pay careful attention to these signs. If serious or repeated injury occurs, this may constitute an even greater cause for concern.

If your aging parent, grandparent or other loved one has been the victim of elder abuse by a caregiver or in a nursing home, our Georgia nursing home abuse attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.