Deciding to place your elderly parent or relative into a nursing home is always a difficult decision.

Unfortunately, there have been many cases in which our elderly family members may have experienced neglect and/or abuse while they are a resident at a nursing home. When deciding on which nursing home to provide long-term care, you need to properly assess the facility to ensure that the right standards are maintained and practiced. You need to evaluate the safety standards and the staff training to ensure that the elderly parent or relative is not in danger of any risk of harm from falls, bed sores/pressure sores, broken bones, restraints, malnutrition, dehydration and any other areas that would result in nursing home neglect and abuse.

Wisconsin law outlines the resident’s rights as follows:

 

“The resident has a right to a dignified existence, self-determination, and communication with and access to persons and services inside and outside the facility. A facility must protect and promote the rights of each resident…”

 

These requirements include the rights of the resident, such that, they are protected from mental and physical abuse and also set the standards that nursing homes follow.

Each resident should receive the necessary care and services to protect residents from known risks, such as: Alzheimer’s, dementia, bedrail asphyxiation, wandering, elopement, assault, physical abuse, medication errors, corporation decision making and false charting.

 

Thus, when you are determining an appropriate nursing home, please include the following:

  1.  Find out whether the nursing home is licensed in the State of Wisconsin;
  2. Determine whether the staff, including RPN, LPN, CNA, are licensed and have received in service training for nursing home care;
  3.  Ask whether your elderly parent or relative is to rely on you to observe what is happening in the nursing home or whether a physician will be relied upon for these observations;
  4. Google the nursing home, and see what you can find out about its reputation and its care for the elderly;
  5. Ask your elderly relative’s physician as to what he/she thinks about the nursing home you are considering;
  6. Ask around the community, including your friends and family, regarding the nursing home’s reputation for caring for the elderly. 

Be sure to carry out most or all of the above-mentioned checkpoints, and go over and above to ascertain that your parent or relative is living in an environment that ensures that they grow old in a dignified manner, without suffering any neglect and/or abuse.

Should you have your parent or relative in a nursing home, please be sure to always monitor and be aware of their living conditions. If you are uncomfortable about anything, always put  a staff member on notice, ask questions and make sure you are always notified of any conditions involving your elderly resident .

Please contact Rizzo & Diersen, S.C. should you feel that there has been neglect or abuse, and we will be happy discuss these issues with you.