If your older family members are in a nursing home, here are safety and visiting tips to ensure they get the best care. You are not there_ you are far away. That puts you at a real disadvantage to monitor care.
If you did not do this before, take an extra hour after you have a one to one visit your relative- and use this checklist from Medicare
You will find out whether you have a good facility or a poor one
Periodic visits by a long-distant caregiver to a long-term care facility where the care recipient is residing are critical. During a long distance visit, make contact with the director staff that care for you long distance relative,and the ombudsman.Eat a meal while you are there. Check out the quality of the food and the presentation. Remember, this is your relative’s house. They deserve a great kitchen.
It is important for the long distance caregiver to establish good contacts with employees (aides, the social worker, the RN charge nurse, the director), and let the contact person at the facility know that the long distance caregiver appreciates what they’re doing. Get their business cards. Facilities, especially nursing homes, have low staff-to-patient ratios, like 1 aide to 10–15 patients. Things get missed, call lights stay unanswered. Make those contacts and use that checklist to ask questions about the facility.
In fact the federal government itself says that 1 in 4 nursing homes are substandard .The Maryland legislature is introducing a bill to a bill that would give nursing-home residents the right to install video cameras in their rooms to detect and prevent abuse.
Granny cams have been launched to monitor the care in a nursing homes but you should check with the ombudsman and the facility about the legality in your state.
Perhaps consider hiring a geriatric care manager to monitor and visit for you weekly or monthly is a good idea. They can talk to the director, monitor care and call or report to you after every visit .A squeaky wheel gets attention.
There are government resources to help you monitor and handle the situation.
Contact the Ombudsman at the facility and introduce yourself. This is a national Older Americans ACT program that monitors care in nursing homes and other facilities. They is no cost and they respond to complaints. Check out their web site .
If you have concerns about a nursing home or want to know more and live in California, you can contact the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.
You can also have one of the circles of care, that I suggested, in my last blog, go by and visit your loved one and let you know how things are going. In a facility the squeaky wheel is often the only voice heard.