3 tips for preventing nursing home injuries

When you place a loved one into a nursing home, it's with the expectation that the facility is safe and will provide the care they need to remain healthy. The trouble is that not all facilities are the same. Some are more advanced than others, and safety may not always be the most important thing to the facility you choose.

The good news is that there are ways to prevent nursing home injuries before they ever take place. Here are a few things to consider before you choose a nursing home and once you place your loved one in their care.

1. Do your research before choosing a home

Before you choose a nursing home, it's necessary to do research. This research should involve your going to the facility, meeting the staff or director and having a tour. You want to know what the facility is like when the director or others don't know you're coming (if possible). You may wish to schedule a tour and to have an unannounced visit.

2. Make yourself known

Once you decide on a nursing home, it's best if you make yourself known to the staff and others who work with your loved one. The last thing you want to do is to fail to visit regularly or to make yourself scarce. While you might want to stay out of the aid's or nurse's way while they're working, you still should address them and introduce yourself. Getting to know those who are working with your loved one is a great help in reducing the risk of your loved one getting hurt, neglected or abused.

3. Report problems early

Finally, report problems early on. If you notice your loved one is bruising more than usual, say so. It might be because of a new medication, or they might need more help than usual to avoid falls, bumps and bruises.

If you show that you are noticing changes in behavior, stability or appearance, the facility will take you more seriously and likely provide better care to your loved one. On top of that, you can begin a paper trail, so there are records of your complaints if something bad does happen at the facility. At the end of the day, your intervention could be what is necessary to keep your loved one safe, even if you think the facility, on the whole, does its job correctly.

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