Important Considerations about Nursing Homes
Host 1: Welcome back to InSight. We are joined now by Dave Farnbaugh with the Sweeney Law Firm and we're going to talk today about nursing homes.This is something that lots of generations are dealing with today because whether you are getting ready to make that transition into a nursing home or you are moving your parents into a nursing home, we're all sort of dealing with it and we want to be sure that we're making the right choices. So, luckily we have the support of the Sweeney Law Firm and what are some of the questions that we should be asking when we call an attorney? Because really, we probably should be calling an attorney when we're making some of those choices.
Dave Farnbaugh: Well I don't know Emily that you would necesarily call an attorny before you would place your loved one in a nursing home. Maybe I can give the views some background on why this is a topic of some interest to me and our law firm. We've been handling nursing home cases, where we file cases against nursing homes, for the last 15 or 20 years and so during that period of time, you learn a lot about why people have to go into nursing homes. You learn a lot about the care that they receive and most notibly these lawsuits are brought because of safety issues that arise in lawsuits. It's sort of an unfortunate reality that many many people that end up in a nursing home wind up with injuries or even death for that matter. This is something that has really became a particualr insterest with our law firm. We pursue a number of these cases. We do these cases all over the state so what we like to do when we have forms like this is to share information that we've learned or acquired over the years about how to prevent injuries to try to make a difference that way. What happens most frequently with nursing homes is someone is in a hospital, they have a serious medical condition that requires rehabilitation or a loved one needs skilled nursing care. They've developed alzheimers, dementia, or some other condition that requires skilled nursing care and suddenly a family is confronted with a decision. Where are we going to place Mom or Dad or a spouse for nursing care? Often times, we don't give a lot of thought to that ahead of time. A lot of times, you're at a hospital and the doctor comes in and says, "Look, we're going to release you tomorrow. We're going to be releasing you to a nursing home care." People really haven't given a lot of thought to where we are going to place Mom or Dad or a spouse. So, I guess the idea is that there is a lot of resources out there that are available now-a-days for people looking to do their homework and do research on what's the best placement. And of coarse we feel, based upon our experience having to sue nursing homes and seeing some of the things that can happen from a safety stand point, that it's important for consumers out there to research some of the problems or safety issues in nursing homes. Probably the best resource that's out there is a website called medicare.gov or a lot of people can reach it by googleing "nursing home compare". And when you go on the website for "nursing home compare", you find that you can actually access information online with the various state departments of health (the Indiana State Department of Health). You can actually go online an research what they call "citations" or "f tags" where nursing homes have been cited by the Indiana department of health or a resident developed pressure sores or falls. There's statistics on there. There's plans of correction those sorts of things. You can actually do homework on nursing homes before you have to place your loved one. Indiana has an obvincemen program where those nursing home obvincemen, which are employed by the state. That office is there to help families with issues that arise from nursing home care. What we recommend to families is call the local obvincemen and ask them questions about which facilities have you had problems with? What recommendations would you make when we place our loved one in a nursing home? So there's lots of resources that are available. Also, just check around with people before you place a loved one. What experiences have other families that you know have had in a nursing home. Have you noticed that there's adequate staffing? One of the things that we're going to talk about in the next segment is the staffing in nursing homes.
Host 2: There definitely are some advocates and people do need to do their homework. When we come back, like Dave said, "We're going to talk about some of the substandard care and issues that are there. Stick with us, we'll be right back on InSight.