Being tasked with making the decision to place a family member in a nursing home facility can be emotionally challenging. Once the decision has been made, the next big decision will be choosing the best one. At the very least, you want to be sure that your loved one is receiving quality medical treatment. You will want to choose a facility that can ensure the health and happiness of your loved one. Choosing the right nursing home will prevent your loved one from becoming a victim of nursing home neglect. Researching the facility is critical. Before making a final decision, look for reports and reviews of the facility and consider the location, cost, certification, activities and caliber of the staff.
Queens County in New York City has 60 certified nursing homes. An independent audit conducted by the New York State Office of the State Comptroller, Division of State Government Accountability, discovered that between 2007 and 2015, there were 3,773 nursing home violations identified. Out of those, 123 were classified as major deficiencies. The objective of the audit was to assess if nursing home facilities consistently followed state and federal regulations. The most distressing finding was that due to “inefficiencies” in the department tasked with conducting investigations, the average time between government inspections of a facility and any fines or penalties imposed on that facility for violations went from six months in 2007 to four years or longer in 2015. In other words, a nursing home can continue to provide substandard care for a longer time before any corrective actions are taken.
Do your homework before making the crucial decision of where to place your family member. If a specific nursing home appeals to you, get as much information as possible about the staff, sanitation, comfort level and other important information. The cost of placement will vary according to which care or health plan the resident has, what services they need, the most comforting environment, etc. When possible, choose a facility which is close by and will enable you and other family members and loved ones to pay regular visits. This is important because you will regularly have an opportunity to get a feel for the facility’s food, safety, cleanliness, atmosphere, rooms and staff. Choose a facility which is registered with a higher regulatory body or by Medicare and Medicaid. The certification will help you assess the quality of the services and what to expect from the facility in general. A good nursing home should be able to implement and carry out various activities, such as walks in the park, art time, movies and excursions outside of the nursing home. Find out whether the staff is professional, friendly and attentive to each patient. Consider the staff-to-patient ratio and whether the nursing home performs a sufficient background check of employees.
If you suspect that a loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home facility in Queens, call the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP NY. Call 877-565-2993 or email [email protected].