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Nursing Home Abuse Prevention Checklist for Families

This June, elder advocate organizations around the country are calling for a focus on the rights of seniors,  and the prevention of abuse and neglect involving elderly persons,  millions of who live in nursing homes.

On June 15, elder organizations across the world including the World Health Organization at the United Nations will mark World Elder Abuse  Awareness Day  to raise awareness about the risks of abuse, exploitation and neglect involving seniors.  Events  and commemorations are being planned for the special day across the world, including the United States where more than 50 million people above the age of 65 currently live.  Out  of these, close to 1.5 million people live in nursing homes, and a million more live in assisted living facilities.

For  families, the  decision to place a loved one in a nursing facility or an assisted living facility is never an easy one.  It  is, unfortunately, the only option available for many people who often find themselves worried and anxious about the safety and care of their loved ones in these facilities.  The  fact that so many nursing homes in the United States have questionable standards of care at best  is definitely a concern for families looking for a facility.

If you are currently considering placing a loved one in a nursing home, do  your research in order to find a facility that suits the requirements of your loved one.  The  National Institute on Aging recommends that  you first understand what kind of care your loved one requires.  Some elderly persons may only require mild  supervision and can operate with a great deal of independence.  Others  may require more supervision, attention and even maybe 24 hours assistance.  Still  others may require regular physical therapy or occupational therapy.  The  facility that you choose for your loved one must provide these specialized services if required.  Do your research on the facility by talking to people in your network, including colleagues, friends, and family members.  Look at reviews online –  these will provide you a good picture of how responsible and accountable the facility is in providing the facilities that it claims it does. Check the Medicare and Medicaid certifications of the nursing facility.  Visit the facility at least a couple of times, and make sure that you note the cleanliness and hygiene standards,  how staff interacts with residents at the facility,  and how patient they are in addressing your queries.

Once you have admitted your loved one in the nursing home, ensure  that you have regular communication with the nursing facility and visit your loved one regularly.  Look for   signs   of deterioration like pressure ulcers or bed sores,  bruises,  malnutrition,  dehydration,  confusion  and disorientation,  fearfulness,  and  anxiety.  These are often signs of neglect at the least, or abuse at the worst.

The Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in nursing homes in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia.  If you believe that your loved one is being abused or has suffered abuse in a nursing home, talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss his or her options for a claim.

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