Lowe Scott Fisher Attorney Meghan Connolly Discusses Nursing Home Negligence — Part Two

September 30, 2014

Recently, Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA’s own Meghan Connolly gave a talk on the issue of nursing home red flags.  With years of experience in nursing home injury cases, Meghan has seen firsthand the dangers that our seniors encounter in poorly run facilities.  Below we offer Meghan’s perspective on what you should do if your loved one must be admitted to a nursing home, or has suffered as the result of nursing home negligence.  And if you have not seen it, check out Part One, in which Meghan discusses the prevalence of nursing home negligence and injuries.

Selecting a Nursing Home: Resources and Red Flags

The easiest way to start investigating a prospective nursing home for your loved one is visit medicare.gov.  By law, facilities must be regularly inspected, and each formal complaint must be investigated.  The results of these inspections and investigations are posted online for the public.

These publicly available materials can serve as the first line of defense against choosing a subpar nursing home. 

  • Does a facility have a history of inspection violations?
  • Were there many complaints filed?
  • How severe were these infractions? 

If anything seems amiss in the inspection and complaint reports, your best bet is to cross the offending nursing home off your list.

The investigation does not end there, however.  Meghan stresses that it is important to take a tour of the facility to see the nursing home.  While viewing the facility, keep in mind that the employee showing you around will do their best to paint a perfect picture of their nursing home.  Do not rely on this employee’s sales pitch.  Instead, focus your attention on things like cleanliness of floors, rooms, and bathrooms, how the staff interacts with residents, and overall comfort level of the residents.

Also, insist on talking to the staff.  The length of time key staff members have been at the facility, overall staff turnover, and number of staff members on hand are powerful indicators of how a facility is run.  Well-staffed facilities with long-term team members are far more likely in a nursing home devoted to proper patient care.  In addition, question the staff on things like training and emergency protocols.  If the staff is unprepared for an ordinary emergency such as a power outage, that is a red flag.

What to Do in the Event of Injury?

If you or a loved one have sustained a personal injury as the result of nursing home negligence, contact an experienced nursing home injury attorney right away.  Your likely have a number of options following an injury, including:

  • The right to leave the facility;
  • The right to report the incident to the Department of Health; and
  • The right to file a lawsuit

In the aftermath of an injury, the next step can be confusing, particularly in nursing home injury cases where staff may not be willing to provide a complete picture of the cause of your loved one’s injuries.  Do not face this situation alone.

If your loved one has suffered a nursing home injury, the Ohio nursing home injury attorneys at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA are here to help.  Contact us today for a free telephone consultation.

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