Nearly 70% of U.S. nursing homes are operated by for-profit owners according to the CDC. It’s important to remember this statistic as you select a skilled nursing facility for a parent or loved one.
“Not all for-profit nursing homes are bad, but you need to ask a lot of questions when exploring the many options out there,” said John Dalli, a partner in the law firm Dalli & Marino, LLP. “The chances for neglect and abuse in nursing homes are greater in facilities that choose profits over people.”
The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers an extensive, helpful checklist on questions to ask when you’re searching for a nursing home for a parent. In this fourth article, we will cover what you should look for in a skilled nursing facility’s food menus and recreational programs.
Good Menus Promote Health Among Nursing Home Residents
“Diets with proper levels of protein and nutrition help keep residents healthy and more active. On the other hand, malnutrition and dehydration can lead to weight loss and complicate medical situations such as bedsores,” says Dalli.
Do residents have a choice of food items at each meal?
Do they serve foods you like?
Can the nursing home provide for special dietary needs (like low-salt or no-sugar-added diets)?
Are nutritious snacks available?
Does staff help residents eat and drink at mealtimes, if needed?
Nursing Home Activities Help Keep Residents’ Bodies and Minds Healthy
“Active lives are healthy lives which becomes even more important for the elderly,” said Dalli. “Skilled nursing facilities should offer programs that keep their residents moving and engaged.”
Can residents, including those unable to leave their rooms, choose to take part in a variety of activities?
Do residents help plan or choose the activities that are available?
Does the nursing home have outdoor areas for resident use?
Is staff available to help residents go outside?
Does the nursing home have an active volunteer program?
Do I get to choose what time to get up, go to sleep, or bathe?
Can I have visitors at any time – even early or late hours?
Would I be able to leave the facility for a few hours or days if I choose to do so?
Are there procedures for leaving?
Does the nursing home offer the religious or cultural support I need?
Our next article in this series will reflect on signs of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and how to prevent it.
Contact Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Dalli & Marino
Since 1996, Dalli & Marino, LLP, has helped families recover millions of dollars in cases of neglect at nursing homes or other elder care facilities. Our team serves Suffolk and Nassau Counties (Long Island), Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County.
Please call our office today if you have questions about a loved one in a nursing home that may have experienced one of these issues at 1-888-465-8790 [Toll-Free] or complete the CASE EVALUATION FORM on our Contact Page.