How to Pick the Right Nursing Home in West Virginia
Dealing with the responsibilities involved in caring for aging loved ones is something many of us face. In the midst of juggling our own work, family and household obligations, we want to make sure our parents or family members are getting the proper medical care and attention they deserve.
In many cases, our loved ones require more care and attention than we can provide. As a result, many families face the difficult process of finding a nursing home.
However, families may not know what to look for in a nursing home. They may be unable to recognize "red flags" when researching facilities. Most importantly, they may not know what to do if they discover that a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home.
If you find yourself in this challenging situation, the Charleston personal injury lawyers of Mani, Ellis & Layne, PLLC, encourage you to check out our new free eBook on how to pick the right nursing home in West Virginia.
Knowing what to look for when choosing a nursing home can help to ensure your aging family members receive the care and attention they need while giving you greater peace of mind during an often stressful process.
Determining the Level of Care Needed
Nursing homes in West Virginia provide care for loved ones who are well enough not to be in a hospital but still require more care than can be provided at home.
Your loved one may be suffering from a chronic condition that requires overnight care and ready access to medical providers. Often, it is simply the fact that the burden of care has become too great for one person alone to deal with.
Regardless of the reasons, nursing home care is often the best available remedy in a difficult and potentially overwhelming situation. Your loved one can get the care they need and deserve, without you or other family members or friends having to neglect their own responsibilities.
According to the National Institute on Aging, determining the level of care is one of the first steps in choosing a nursing home. There are two general types of nursing homes:
Hospital type nursing home - These facilities provide a higher level of care. Usually, they have two patients to a room, while couples have the option of sharing a room. There is usually a nurse's station on each floor. Residents generally are more dependent on staff to meet their general health and hygiene needs.
Household type nursing home - These facilities feature more a home-like setting and allow residents to enjoy greater independence. Residents in these settings have access to a kitchen. They can often decorate their living spaces with their own furniture and décor. Medical and nursing care is available on an as-needed basis.
Many West Virginia nursing homes today also offer a combination of the above, enabling patients to get the more intensive services they need while still allowing them to enjoy the comforts of a home-like setting.
How to Pick a Good Nursing Home
Standards in nursing homes vary widely. You cannot rely on brochures or the nursing home administrators to give you the inside scoop on what life is like at a particular facility.
Incidents of nursing home abuse have become, unfortunately, very common. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), which is a part of the U.S. Administration on Aging, one in every 10 nursing home residents suffer some form of elder abuse. Types of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional or psychological abuse
- Financial and material exploitation
- Sexual abuse.
Nursing home abuse often goes unreported. So, it is up to family members and friends to be aware of the potential signs of abuse such as bruising, bedsores, unexplained fractures and lacerations and general decline in overall health and mental state.
The American Association of Retired People (AARP) recommends that family members and friends talk to both residents and staff at a nursing home and pay close attention to the following:
- Does the food look, smell and taste good? Does it look like a degree of care was used in the preparation of it?
- What sounds do you hear? Are there people crying or groaning? Does the staff talk to residents in a hostile, irritated or otherwise disrespectful tone of voice?
- What smells do you notice? Does it smell clean, or do you notice smells of garbage or human waste?
- Do residents appear happy, healthy, and well cared for?
- How do residents occupy their time? Are they sitting in front of a television, blankly staring? Do they spend most of their time in their rooms, or are they involved in socializing and activities?
- How does the staff interact with each other? Do they complain about the residents or being overworked or underpaid? Do they treat each other courteously?
For additional resources, as well as a comprehensive checklist that provides all the information you need to know when considering a nursing home for your loved one, download our free eBook on how to pick a good nursing home.
The eBook includes guidelines for choosing care providers, alternatives to nursing home care and a directory of online resources and reviews of nursing homes in the West Virginia area.
Reach Out to Our Charleston Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers
At the Charleston law firm of Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, we care about the health and well-being of the families in our community.
We will provide the aggressive legal representation needed to seek justice for your loved one and pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other harm that has been suffered as the result of nursing home abuse or neglect.