What a Nursing Home’s Staff May Reveal About Its Quality of Care

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on June 11, 2021 in Nursing Home Abuse
Updated on April 24, 2024

female health care worker looking tiredWhen looking into nursing homes for a family member, determining if it meets acceptable quality of care standards can be difficult. While online resources may provide some initial insights, checking out the facility and its staff in person may lend more reliable signs about a nursing home’s level of care.

Read on to learn more about some of the staffing red flags that may indicate your loved one could be at risk for negligent or even abusive care at a nursing home.

If your loved one suffered injuries because of negligence while under the care of a nursing home, PKSD is prepared to help you hold them financially responsible for the damages. Our Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers are committed to protecting our elderly, have decades of experience and a very successful track record. There is no risk in meeting with us – it is completely free of charge or obligation.

Call for your FREE case review today: Ph: 414-333-3333

How Staff Interact With Residents

When you visit a Wisconsin nursing home, it is always a good idea to observe the staff who will be providing care for your loved one. Even after your family member moves in, it can be helpful to continually monitor the quality of staff providing his or her care. You can tell a lot by observing the facility’s caregivers at work.

For example:

  • How do the staff speak to the residents when they do not know they are being watched?
  • Are caregivers kind, patient and gentle – or rude and rough with residents?
  • Do staff know and use the residents’ names?
  • Do residents seem relaxed and happy around staff, or do they seem uneasy, fearful and on edge?

In addition to how the staff interacts with the residents, look at residents around the facility to get an idea about how well they are cared for by the nursing home caregivers.

Telltale signs that daily care is substandard includes checking out the daily hygiene and cleanliness of the residents and facility, such as:

  • The residents – do their clothes and hair look unkempt and dirty?
  • Is there a lack of general cleanliness in the rooms?
  • Do the sheets look soiled?
  • How do the community living areas look?

Is There a High Turnover of Staff?

At any place of business, a high turnover of staff generally means that something is not right. In a long-term care facility, there are specific issues that often lead to a revolving door of staff, such as:

  • Poor administrator management and supervision
  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Understaffing issues, which can often lead to burnout of staff, medical errors and other problems
  • Underpaid staff may not be as committed to their work and may also be overtired due to working multiple facilities to help make ends meet.

You can learn more about specific staffing issues – including any citations a facility may have received in recent years by checking out the Medicare Compare website. If a facility is routinely cited for understaffing and other serious quality of care violations, that is a huge red flag that your family member may not receive the quality of care he or she deserves.

Other Nursing Home Staff Red Flags

Additional staffing issues that could indicate you should consider a different facility for your loved one’s daily care, include:

Do Staff Follow Infection Control Policies?

Ask administrators for infection control policies and observe how caregivers may – or may not – implement these policies. For instance, one of the easiest ways to see this policy in action is whether the staff follows handwashing procedures before tending to a resident.

How Do Staff Communicate With Family Members?

When you discuss concerns about your loved one’s care with facility staff, do they seem attentive and concerned? Do they take time to give you a complete answer? If caregivers consistently blow you off, or give rude or vague responses, that may not be a place where you want to entrust the care of a family member.

Are Administrators Attentive and Responsive?

How do the administrators handle the day-to-day operation of the nursing home? If you ask them a question about staff and the daily running of the facility, can they answer fully and without hesitation? Or do they have to check it out and get back to you?

Some additional questions you may consider asking administrators:

  • Do they do background checks to research whether an applicant has had a history of mistreatment, negligence or abuse of patients?
  • Do they encourage and facilitate continuing education for their staff?
  • Are their staff paid competitively in the market – or grossly underpaid?
  • Do they have a registered nurse (RN) at the facility at least eight hours daily?
  • Do they have certified nursing staff onsite around the clock?
  • How did they handle caring for residents during the pandemic?

Researching a long-term care facility for your loved one takes a lot of effort, and even then, it may be difficult to get a clear picture of the care your loved one may receive there. Frequent visits and ongoing communication, with your loved one and the staff, can also help you to keep a lookout for your loved one’s well-being in a nursing home.

Call Our Trusted Law Firm For Help With Nursing Home Claims

Despite a family’s best efforts,  a resident may still suffer negligence or abuse at the hands of his or her caregiver. If this happens, families of these injured elderly residents rightfully feel betrayed and violated.

At PKSD, our qualified attorneys are prepared to seek maximum compensation for the injuries and other damages your loved one suffered at his or her nursing home. Even if you are not sure whether you may have a case, you can contact our law offices and schedule a completely free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys. If we find your case is valid and we represent you, there is nothing to pay up front – to retain our services or while we handle your case. We do not get paid unless or until you do.

Experienced lawyers on your side. Ph: 414-333-3333

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