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Nursing Home Choices Are Crucial

One day we may all face the prospect of being in a nursing home. Stop nursing home abuse in its tracks.

The number of elderly people who are being admitted to nursing homes and long-term care facilities is increasing every year, and has since 1994. Stop and think about that for a minute then do some research on the Internet to try and figure out how many nursing homes are in the US today.

“Just to save you some time, there are over 16,100 nursing homes in the US today with an occupancy rate of 86%. All that translates into 1.7 million beds. Anyway you look at it, that is a lot of people in nursing homes being cared for by people they don’t know. You will likely get a better picture of why nursing home abuse is so prevalent these days when you consider those numbers, which doesn’t make it acceptable at all, but more understandable, “commented Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States.

“What are the reasons why more of our elderly are being admitted to homes these days? Mostly, it’s a combination of factors that involve low income, not enough family support and their age; we tend to live longer these days,” added Donahue. Interestingly enough, recent stats show that nursing home occupancy has dropped; most likely to the increase in the number of assisted care facilities and community living homes for the elderly.

With more options available for the elderly, it’s wise to check out every possible avenue before placing a loved one in one of these homes. It takes an enormous amount of research into what is available and what to expect when your family member is admitted. Knowing these things in advance will help in the selection process, but keep in mind that many seniors don’t take kindly to being put into a home, as it takes away their independence.

“Consider how you would feel if your freedom and everything that was familiar to you was suddenly taken away. It gives you a whole new point of view on nursing home placements,” commented Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene.

Before choosing a home, check what they offer their residents. Are there games, social activities, outings and other events; things in which a family member would like to participate? What kind of nursing home does your relative need? There are different kinds of homes with different facilities.

“An example would be if your loved one has Alzheimer’s and wanders, then you would need a home with a lockdown unit. On the other hand, make darn good and certain that when your loved one is assessed before they are placed into a home, that someone does ‘not’ assess them as needing lockdown when they do ‘not’ need that kind of care. Placing your senior into a locked down facility when they don’t need one is extremely upsetting,” Donahue said.

Always visit the homes to see what they look like, talk to the staff and the administrator and take a look around at the residents. “Try to arrive at meal time, as you will get a whole lot of information about how the home treats their residents when you see them at lunch or supper. You might also want to ask a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer with experience handling nursing home negligence lawsuits if the home you are considering has ever been sued for nursing home abuse. Better you know that right up front than find it out later when it’s too late to undo the damage,” suggested Donahue.

“If for any reason you suspect your relative is being abused at their nursing home, get in touch with me right away. Together we’ll take a look at what’s going on and do something about it. There is ‘no’ excuse that makes elder abuse acceptable,” Donahue insisted.

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