Unfortunately, not every elderly individual who is admitted to the hospital for treatment is able to return to his or her home and/or independent living. In some cases, the patient’s medical needs are too great for the patient and his or her family to meet on their own; as a result, the patient may be admitted to a California nursing home. Although hospitals exist to protect and preserve the health of patients who are admitted to the facility, this purpose seems to end when a patient is being prepared for discharge to a nursing home.
Patients Left in the Dark About Nursing Home Choices
A recent report by Kaiser Health News revealed that California hospitals (like many hospitals in other parts of the country) provide very little information or assistance to patients and their families when it comes to helping them select a nursing home. Some hospitals claim that this is because they do not wish to be seen as interfering with the patients’ choice. However, by remaining silent hospital staff are depriving patients of information that can be crucial to them making an informed decision: information such as whether the nursing home has been accused of elder abuse or neglect. In other cases, hospitals may refer patients to nursing homes with which the hospital has ties without disclosing these connections to patients.
Oftentimes, a patient and/or his or her family discovers that a nursing home does not properly care for its residents after the patient has already been admitted to the home. Unless the patient’s/resident’s family remains vigilant, the patient’s/resident’s health and safety can be easily compromised. This, in turn, can lead to a re-hospitalization and/or the death of the patient/resident.
Making a Smart Nursing Home Choice for Your Loved One
If your loved one is preparing to be discharged from the hospital to a nursing home or hospice facility, it is critical that you do your due diligence and investigate the available nursing homes to which your loved one may go upon discharge. Websites such as Nursing Home Compare (part of the Medicare.gov website) provide some information about nursing homes and the quality of care they provide. Additionally, legislation could come soon that would require hospitals to assist patients more in choosing a nursing home by providing quality data. Still, one of the most effective methods of ensuring your loved one is placed in a caring nursing home facility is to visit the facility (preferably several times), research the facility’s history of abuse and neglect allegations, speak with residents and staff, and maintain a close watch on your loved one’s health while at the facility.
Case Barnett Law is your California nursing home and elder abuse law firm. If your loved one has been injured while a resident at a California nursing home, we may be able to help you and your loved one recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us at (949) 861-2990, or reach out to us online, for prompt and professional assistance.