Ways to Identify Poor Quality Care at a Nursing Home Facility

Nursing home facilities are most certainly NOT all “the same.” Some are better staffed than others.  Some employ persons better equipped to deliver compassionate care to their residents.  Some have medical personnel who take their jobs more seriously than others, or who are better trained than others.  Some are less focused on maximizing profits, and seek instead to maximize the quality of the the care to their residents.  THESE are the factors which matter.  Unfortunately, access to meaningful information may be limited and family members who have a loved one in a nursing home or are considering placement may not realize their loved one’s nursing home is deficient until it is too late.  However, if your loved one is already in a nursing home, there are ways to identify whether poor quality care, abuse or neglect may be happening.  And, should you learn that your loved one is receiving poor care, you may have cause to bring a lawsuit against the facility.

If you are concerned about your loved one’s well being, contact Davis & Brusca – the bedsore lawyer Trenton, NJ turns to for advice on how to take legal action.

Q: Is it normal for the nursing home to have a high turnover rate?

A: No.  High turn over among staff members is certainly not “normal”, and it creates real cause for concern.  High turnover rates in nursing home facilities signifies the staff are under stress, likely overworked, and are likely being compensated poorly.  Any of which generally result in poor quality care.  High turnover also negatively impact continuity of care and understanding of the needs of the residents.  Unfortunately, this is a scenario the lawyers at Davis & Brusca see frequently.  It is a common thread among many nursing homes, and can be a cause for concern for your loved one.   Consistent staff and resident pairing is an important component for ensuring your loved one is getting quality and reliable care.   Ask yourself:  How can this be achieved if your mom or dad has a new aide or nurse every week? 

Q: What if my loved one refuses to be helped by a certain caregiver?

A: Your loved one should not feel uneasy or distressed at the idea of a certain caregiver tending to him or her. So if you hear they are, take these statements very seriously  – even if your loved one suffers from a cognitive illness.  File a report.  Use a “Nanny-cam”, and ask your lawyer how you can investigate further.  If your loved one expresses fear over a particular staff member, don’t leave them alone with that person.  Remember, nursing home residents often react this way due to abuse.  Their conduct may well be a red flag that abuse or neglect is occurring.

Q: Whenever I call the staff never pick up, what’s the issue?

A: Delays in answering the phone may mean there are not enough caregivers present to meet the needs of the residents of the facility. If the facility cannot field enough personnel to permit you to speak to your loved one on the phone, it may signify that they are unable or unwilling to attending to resident’s needs.  If you are unhappy with the service you receive when dealing with the facility, following up with a supervisor or other management staff.  Tell them about the extended wait times you are experiencing.  If they are unwilling or unable to remedy the situation, you may want to consider putting your loved one into a home which has better staff-to-resident ratios.

Q: What if I just have an overall bad feeling about the facility?

A: If you get an ill feeling about a nursing home, even if they have not done anything obviously wrong, listen to your gut. Sometimes, we pick up cues in the environment which our conscious selves are not fully aware of, leading to bad feelings as if something is not quite right. If you get a negative impression or other such gut reaction, it may be time to look deeper into your loved one’s care.

If you have other questions or concerns about the care being delivered to your loved one, contact the New Jersey Nursing Home Lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC .  We are here for you and can offer insights into ways to identify poor care at a nursing home facility and what you can do about nursing home abuse and neglect.