Communicating With Your Nursing Home Staff

Beginning your journey to finding a nursing home, whether for yourself or for a loved one, can be a daunting and emotional task. Many people grow up thinking or joking about how they hope to never have to enter a nursing home. In reality, many people will at some point in their life move into a nursing home. In the US, there are about 1.4 million people living in nursing homes.

Nursing homes tend to get a bad reputation perhaps because we spend so much time thinking we can avoid them. Nursing homes can be wonderful resources for aging adults that offer many benefits and services on top of keeping you safe and healthy. 

In addition to medical care and medication management, nursing homes provide many older adults with a sense of community. They get to participate in organized activities, don’t have to care for a home, and have meals prepared for them. Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

Finding the right nursing home for yourself or a loved one can feel like a long process but once you find the right fit, you may find a wonderful place to live where you can develop a real partnership between yourself, your family, and the nursing home staff. 

Your nursing home care really should look like a loving and caring partnership. That relationship should always include transparency and open communication. Here are a few ways you can create this relationship when you first move into a nursing home. 

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What You Will Need To Provide To Your Nursing home

There will be a lot of necessary paperwork involved with moving into a nursing home. This is the nursing home’s staff’s best way to get to know you and fulfill your care needs. They will likely ask you to provide the following items:

  • Insurance information
  • Medical and health history
  • Current medications
  • Your primary physician and any other medical contacts
  • Family emergency contacts
  • Advanced healthcare directives
  • A Living Will
  • Power of Attorney Information

Your care team at your nursing home will be able to help you gather all this information, if needed, and may assist you in organizing all the necessary documents. This process may require you to make some decisions such as creating a will or advance health care directives. Your nursing home can provide you with resources and support to do this. 

What Your Nursing Home Will Provide For You

In exchange for providing the nursing home with all the necessary documents and payment, your nursing home staff should provide you with the best of care. A few things a nursing home should provide you as resident include:

Personal needs account

Your nursing home may be able to provide you with an account they help manage for your personal needs. You can deposit funds into this account to help manage your finances and pay for any of your personal wants or desires.

Your care assessment and plan

Since you have given your nursing home your health records and history they will now use that and their own assessment process to create you a care plan. This assessment and plan will be reviewed often to best fit your changing needs. 

Your care plan may include:

  • What kind of personal or health care services you need 
  • What type of staff should give you these services 
  • How often you need the services 
  • What kind of equipment or supplies you need (like a wheelchair or feeding tube) 
  • Activity preferences 
  • Your food preferences and dietary needs 
  • How your care plan will help you reach your goals  

Your Resident Rights and Protections 

Lastly, your nursing home care team should inform you of your rights and protections as a resident of the nursing home and what to do if you feel any of those rights are being violated or restricted. 

Your rights as a resident should include the following and more:

  • Be free from discrimination. 
  • Be free from abuse and neglect.
  • Exercise your rights as a U.S. citizen. 
  • Have your representative notified about your care. 
  • Get proper medical care. 
  • Be treated with respect. 
  • Be free from restraints. 
  • Have protections against involuntary transfer or discharge. 
  • Participate in activities. 
  • Spend time with visitors. 
  • Form or participate in resident groups. 
  • Manage your money. 
  • Get information on services and fees. 
  • Get proper privacy, property, and living arrangements. 
  • Make complaints. 

In short, a nursing home can be a safe place for you or a loved one to live. Nursing homes can provide necessary additional care and the community aging people need and want.. Many nursing homes do a wonderful job in aiding the aging population through this sometimes difficult transition.  Unfortunately, some nursing homes do not. 

If you need a nursing home abuse lawyer in Hamilton, Ohio, The Richards Firm is available to look at your case and hopefully protect your rights as a nursing home resident.