Picking the Best Nursing Home for Your Elderly Loved Ones

By Peter DePaolis

Nursing homes have a duty to care and look out for the best interests of your loved ones but unfortunately, many patients sue nursing homes across the country every year for their staff’s negligent behavior that results in injuries or death to the nursing home’s residents.

A newspaper recently investigated complaints against a Virginia nursing home related to several resident deaths. A woman at the home went to an emergency room when her family noticed she had severe bedsores. A hospital physician told the family that that woman had a deadly infection relating to those sores.

Another resident of the same nursing home died after a fall. It was the fourteenth time the man had fallen in the past year. The man’s sister-in-law said she littered the nursing home with cautionary notes on the man’s wheelchair and bed, indicating that he needed to have his tray put across him in order to keep him from falling out. She frequently visited the man and noticed that the tray would never be in place. The man’s fatal fall occurred as one of the nursing home aids lowered his bed and then turned to the closet to get his clothes. For injuries suffered as a result of nursing home staff negligence, an experienced Northern Virginia personal injury lawyer can provide the understanding and expertise you need to handle the situation.

Picking a Nursing Home for Loved Ones

As these examples demonstrate, it is important to select a nursing home that will provide the comfort and treatment that your loved ones need. Without careful research, you risk placing your loved one in harm’s way. The following are some items that you should take into consideration when selecting a nursing home:

  • Pick a nursing home that is closest to the person who plans to visit the resident the most often. Studies suggest that regular visits improve the well-being of nursing home residents and can help them recover quicker.
  • Make sure someone visits regularly. If the nursing home staff knows that you are often around and aware of what is going on, these regular visits can go a long way towards ensuring that your loved one receives better care.
  • Check nursing homes’ records through state and federal agencies. You will be able to verify that they meet all of the legal requirements but you can also see whether there are any complaints or violations against the nursing home.
  • A recent study of thousands of US and Canadian nursing homes indicated that nonprofit homes consistently had better staff and used constraints less often to confine patients. The patients at nonprofit nursing homes had fewer bedsores and fewer citations for violations.
  • Match your loved one’s needs with what the nursing home offers. Speak with nurses and other staff if your loved one requires specialized care.

Contact a Northern Virginia personal injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. if you suspect that your loved one is suffering from injuries as a result of the care that he or she received in a nursing home.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.