Missouri Scores “F” in Nursing Home Care: Choosing the Right One
It’s clear that Missouri nursing homes are neglecting the very people who cared for us in our younger years. If you have a loved one who has suffered from the negligence of a nursing home, contact an experienced Kansas City, MO nursing home abuse lawyer for a free legal consultation and to help you figure out what to do next. According to Families for Better Care, an advocacy group for nursing home residents, Missouri ranked 47th in the country for nursing home care – a frightening number.
The group, using eight federal gauges for quality, gave the state of Missouri an F for its overall quality of nursing home care. In fact, the state cited almost one in five Missouri nursing homes for a severe deficiency. This statistic suggests at least widespread neglect, and at worst mistreatment and abuse of residents.
There are some ways to safeguard your loved ones. Consider these recommendations when looking for a nursing home.
- Ask Around. Talk to doctors, nurses, friends, and family. Bad reviews travel fast, so it shouldn’t take long to find out which homes you should avoid. If you are the first in your circle of friends to be looking for a nursing home, read reviews on the internet. Though not all negative reviews can be completely trusted, if you find a facility with many complaints, you’ll know it’s one to avoid.
- Go for a Visit. Nothing will better inform you about a residence’s daily life than a look around the facilities. Schedule an appointment to see the home, but consider a brief unplanned visit as well. When you are there, assess the overall cleanliness of the home and check the kitchen for sanitary conditions and healthy food options. Plan one visit around mealtimes for insight into how a place operates on a normal day. There have been instances of residents suffering from hunger, because even though they received meals, no one cut it for them if they couldn’t cut it up themselves. Make sure to look at the restrooms; look for debris on the floor; they should be clean and odor-free.
- Make Time to Talk. While it may seem obvious that you will discuss issues of care and cost with administrators, don’t stop there. Talk to the staff – if they are too harried to speak with you, it’s a bad sign. If you have an opportunity, talk with one of the residents. Not all will be able to give you an accurate indication of their care, but look at their condition and the condition of their rooms; it will speak volumes as to the attention they receive.
- Discuss Qualifications. Any nursing home and its administrators should have current state licenses. The home must meet basic safety requirements, adhere to fire regulations, and maintain an updated evacuation plan in the case of emergencies. Inquire whether the staff has had background checks before they were employed and if there is a high turnover rate. When employees come and go, it can be distressing for the elderly; it may also indicate a problem with the home.
- Ask Hard Questions. It’s easy to get basic info when talking to administrators at a nursing home, but don’t neglect to ask the difficult questions. For instance:
- What is the patient-to-staff ratio?
- Is there medical help onsite?
- How much individualized attention do residents receive?
- Is there a policy about physical and chemical restraints?
- Is there a scale of care that changes as a resident’s faculties decline?
- What are the home’s policies on life-sustaining measures?
Some of these questions are difficult to think about, much less ask about, but these questions let administrators know that you are taking the care of your loved one seriously, and you have your eye on their practices.
Nursing home abuse has become a serious issue in the United States and particularly in Missouri. If you have questions about the care your loved one has received, contact Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet for a free legal consultation and case evaluation with an experienced and successful Kansas City personal injury lawyer.