Having to place a loved one in a long-term nursing care facility is never an easy decision, and many people wind up feeling some regret about the placement, at least initially. Often, this is because of personal feelings that complicate the choice even when it is the right one for all parties involved, but sometimes the misgivings have a more legitimate basis. After all, nursing home abuse and neglect are relatively common in healthcare environments, and finding a reputable home that will provide the right care for your loved ones is a vital first step in protecting them.
Handling the family decision
One of the biggest hurdles to finding a good nursing home placement is often a lack of cooperation or even direct opposition from extended family. This can lead to ruptured relationships. In some cases, it can make it more difficult to persuade a loved one that the move is necessary. This may be avoided with clear and effective family communication, but that is not always a possibility for everyone.
Weighing personal and medical factors
Another important consideration during nursing home placement is the facility's ability to meet the specific needs of your loved one. Different homes will have different focus areas for their care and different client bases, but that is not the only reason for the consideration. Environment and location can also play a big role. That's why it can be helpful to use resources that are specific to the condition leading you to seek nursing care. This worksheet from the Alzheimer's Association is one great example of such a resource.
Involving an attorney
One way you can make the process easier for everyone involved is to bring in an experienced elder law attorney to help you. The right attorney will be able to help you locate homes that offer the care and characteristics you need while also providing a few key protections, such as:
- Knowledge about local nursing home practices and policies to guide your placement
- An understanding of elder abuse and neglect that can inform your ongoing monitoring of your loved one's care
- Help understanding and navigating payment options and access
The first step to preventing nursing home abuse and neglect is to choose a nursing home with the reputation and practices that will support your loved one. An elder law attorney can help you with that choice. An experienced attorney can also provide you with insight and options if you notice signs of abuse or neglect, making him or her an important resource during every phase of your loved one's care.