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How to Stay Informed of Your Loved One’s Nursing Home Care?

Video Transcript

Many of you have loved ones who’ve been placed in nursing homes. It was a difficult decision for you to select the right nursing home for your loved one. One question that we get asked often is, once you’ve selected the nursing home, how could you stay apprised of what’s going on and whether or not my loved one is being treated appropriately? I wanna discuss with you today some of the things that you can look out for and to make you more well informed about what the nursing home should be doing. Every single nursing home resident who’s admitted to a nursing home must be assessed. It must be an assessment that’s done immediately upon admission to the nursing home, and it must be an assessment that has a purpose behind it. The purpose of the assessment is to identify any medical conditions or risk factors that your loved one may have that puts your loved one at risk for some type of future harm. Things like falls, pressure sores, malnutrition, dehydration are some of the common things that are assessed at the time that a nursing home resident is admitted to a nursing home. Not only does that assessment have to be timely, it must be accurate. It must be individualized. It must take into consideration the nursing home residents, medical conditions, and other predisposing risk factors that the resident has that puts him or her at risk to the harm. Once the assessment is completed, a plan must be developed to try to minimize that risk. This is often referred to as a care plan. The care plan must be individualized based on the nursing home resident’s specific needs. It must identify the potential harm. It must set forth goals that the plan is meant to achieve, and it must include interventions that are specifically designed to address the risk factors that the resident has. After the care plan is developed, the key step that’s often overlooked or forgotten is that the care plan must be communicated to all of the direct care staff that will be involved in the resident’s care on a day to day basis. This includes LPNs, licensed practical nurses, RNs, registered nurses, and CNAs, certified nursing assistants. It is imperative that each of these direct care staff members have this information to guide their care treatment of the nursing home resident or loved one. After the implementation of the care plan, the next step in the process is continuous reassessment of the resident’s needs. There may be change in conditions. There may be incidents that happen. After any of these occurrences, the plan has to be looked at again. And if necessary, new interventions must be tried. This is a continuous process that goes on or must go on every single day. The nursing standard of care dictates that the nursing home follow this process. State regulations say this, Federal regulations say this. And oftentimes, the nursing home’s own facility policies and procedures say this as well. So remember, when you’re interacting with those individuals who are involved in your loved one’s care, ask them whether or not this process is being followed. Is your loved one being regularly assessed? What is the plan to treat or mitigate any risks for future harm that your resident has? Has this plan been communicated to all of the staff members that are interacting with your loved one? And is the staff continuously reassessing their loved one’s needs?

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Michael F. Bonamarte, IV
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