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Your loved one’s safety includes good emergency planning

If you are looking for a nursing home that will provide good care for your loved one, you have certain requirements in mind.

Among those should be safety and security issues. The facility you eventually choose should have a comprehensive plan in place, from hiring practices to emergency procedures for safeguarding residents.

Thwarting criminal activities

Does the nursing home you have in mind employ proper hiring practices? Vulnerable seniors are at risk of abuse, harm or robbery from workers. You want to be sure that the facility performs comprehensive background checks and does not employ anyone with a history of violence or abuse.

Perform a visual inspection

Visit nursing homes and see for yourself how they operate. Your first impression should be one of overall cleanliness because infection is always a critical concern in this kind of facility. Next, look at the exit doors. Each should have an alarm that warns staff if a resident attempts to wander off or if an intruder tries to enter. How many fire exits are there? Is there sufficient security in the room your loved one would occupy? For example, are there locks on the windows?

The emergency plan

Can employees implement the facility’s emergency plan properly? When a fire occurred in a Chicago nursing home, staff evacuated residents in the wrong order, starting with those farthest from the fire. An inspection at an El Paso nursing home revealed that there was no plan in place for bringing a wheelchair-bound resident down the stairs in an emergency. Since the death of eight nursing home residents in the oppressive Florida heat following Hurricane Irma in 2017, there have been ongoing concerns about the lack of sufficient generators in many nursing homes. Backup power should be part of any nursing home emergency plan.

Sharing concerns

Even if the nursing home you eventually choose seems safe and secure, an emergency may arise that could cause injury to your loved one, or even prove fatal. If you have safety or security concerns that the facility does not address to your satisfaction, explore your legal options. Your loved one's well-being may be at stake.

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