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How to Select the Right Nursing Home

The following are some tips on what to look for in a nursing home to help prevent bad care and abuse of your loved one.

First, get a durable power of attorney for medical care so that you can make health care decisions and review medical records for your loved one.

Second, request a complete facility profile from the State Health Department, Licensing and Certification Department for the facility you intend to use. For more information, visit the website for the California Department of Public Health, or call them at (916) 558-1784.

Third, notice how many people in the facility seem to be overmedicated, excessively sleepy or in bed or unable to walk or talk. If many patients fall into this category, be wary of overmedication at the facility, especially with the psychotropic drugs Haldol, Thorazine, Thiothixene, Droperidol, Fluphenazine, Midazolam, Benzodiazepine, Lorazepam, Mellaril and Prolixin.

Fourth, when reviewing the Admission Agreement, do not agree to and do not initial any arbitration clause.  An arbitration clause is a provision in the admission agreement that tries to force families to waive your right to a jury trial for any potential claims you or your loved one might have against the nursing home.  You are not obligated to agree to or initial an arbitration clause as a condition to having the patient be admitted to the facility.

Visit your family member at different times during the day, including meal times. Take notice of the types of food and nutritional balance. Dehydration can lead to major problems (hypernatremia, neurological losses, increased risk of developing bed sores, death.

Be sure that the patient is actually seen by the doctor.  Talk with the doctor personally. If the doctor is difficult to contact, bring in another doctor to examine the patient.

Make sure all recommended care is given, such as physical therapy. Stop by when such activities are scheduled.

Check the patient’s body for bed sores (also referred to as pressure sores).  Pay particular attention to the tailbone, heels and hips. Visit our website for more information on bed sores.

Report any signs of bad care to the state licensing office in your state that licenses and regulates nursing homes. The California Department of Public Health’s number is (800) 236-9747, or you can fill out a formal complaint online.  You can also contact your County hotline to report instances of abuse.

Do not be intimidated by threats from the facility such as kicking the patient out of the facility because of complaints or the facility’s refusal to cooperate with requests for information.

Contact York Law Firm

If your loved one has endured abuse or neglect, the attorneys at York Law Firm are available to help you fight against the system responsible for injuring your loved one.  Our attorneys have handled numerous elder abuse cases and have won our clients millions, either by settlement or by trial.  What makes our firm successful is our passion and unyielding dedication to insure justice by fighting for the rights of the “little guy.”

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