Going into a nursing home can be traumatizing. Putting a loved one into a nursing home is perhaps equally as bad. Whether you or your family member is in care, there are good and bad sides to it all. The key is to be prepared. Here are the 15 most common nursing home problems you need to be aware of – and how you can avoid them.
1 – Theft
Sadly, theft is not uncommon. It is much more likely to be another, probably senile, resident that is stealing from your loved one than it is a nurse or staff member. However, it is still unacceptable. Make sure you write your loved one’s name on every item they have.
2 – Bedsores Due to Poor Nursing Care
One common complaint from nursing homes is that patients suffer from bedsores. Pressure ulcers are easily preventable – but can require surgery to properly treat if left untended. Therefore, its essential to ensure that you or your loved one will get the nursing care needed to prevent this. While you can make legal claims for bedsore injuries, it’s better to avoid them in the first place. It is extremely painful and traumatic, according to nursing home bedsore lawyer, Jonathan Rosenfeld.
3 – Clothes Going Missing
This is covered by theft but is a much more common problem. Clothes go missing because, frankly, we all dress the same. Not only that, but a nurse doesn’t know who is wearing what from day-to-day. This has an easy fix. Write your loved ones, or your own, name on all your labels.
4 – Overcharging
This is unacceptable and, unfortunately, many elderly folks simply don’t have anyone fighting their corner for them. If you have access to your loved one’s finances, then take the reins by getting clear cost quotes and comparing numbers beforehand.
5 – Dehydration
Dehydration is literally a killer. Many elderly nursing home residents with dementia forget to drink. Solve this creatively… like one young inventor named Lewis Hornby.
6 – Malnutrition
Unfortunately, malnutrition is all-too-common in nursing homes. It might be that the business isn’t feeding the old dears properly, but it is m ore likely to be the result of wandering minds.
7 – Sub-Standard Care
Substandard care can be a combination of any of the things on this list. If you suspect your nursing home of this get out as soon as you can and find another.
8 – Staffing
Again, a number of problems could be avoided if care companies weren’t trying to scrimp in staff costs. Under-staffing in both residential nursing homes, and care homes, is not uncommon. In the UK, the estimate is that all car homes are roughly 20% understaffed at any given time.
9 – Hygiene
That lack of staff can often lead to poor hygiene of the residents. IT takes two staff members – maybe three – to bathe a resident.
10 – Confinement
A lack of freedom can lead to mental health problems. Mental health – or any health – problems in the latter stages of life can lead to a near-instant decline in wellbeing overall.
11 – Freedom
Just as you might find you are confined to one or two places; residents of nursing homes have no freedom anymore. Keep in mind this is why your relative protested against moving out of their own home in the first place – and get them out of there as often as you can!
12 – Nurses
Some nurses aren’t qualified nurses. Double-check before you agree to move in.
13 – Cleanliness
Next to hygiene of the resident is hygiene of the staff. If that staff has just worked 16 hours – how clean are they?
14 – Staff Turnover
Nursing homes have ridiculously high staff turnover rates. Look for one with lower rates before you move in.
15 – Neglect
Lastly – and by far the most common cause of nursing home problems – is neglect. No staff, lack of food, no turning to prevent bedsores. It all adds up to neglect. Don’t let it happen to your loved one. Nobody deserves that kind of end-of-life (lack of) care.