Nursing homes should be places of support and safety, serving the needs of residents who require lifestyle assistance. When a family chooses a nursing home for a loved one, careful consideration is paid to location, quality care, and other factors. The nursing home staff is a critical component, given that this is where the potential mismanagement of medication can stem.
Unfortunately, adverse drug events are too common in nursing homes. When busy nurses are moving from room to room, it’s easy to mix up the details about a medication’s timing, dosage, and more.
A small mistake can take a toll on the person’s health, and even worse. However, many of these medication accidents are preventable.
Choosing a Reputable Nursing Home
If you are moving your loved one into a nursing home, it’s critical to understand the proactive steps staff members take to ensure the accuracy of medical services. Here are a few things to watch for:
- Staffing Ratio: If the staff is overburdened by serving too many residents at once, it could negatively impact the quality of care offered to each individual. Ask the nursing home about the number of residents and the number of nurses onsite at all times.
- Record Keeping: How is the nursing home keeping track of medical records? A digital system is critical to organize and monitor information about each resident. This system keeps open lines of communication for all nurses throughout the day.
- Doctor Oversight: Even if the current dosages are effective, it doesn’t mean that the patient should continue taking the same medication indefinitely. Ask about healthcare support and dosage adjustments. The nursing home might have medical services in-house. Or, the nursing home staff can work with the doctor of your choice to make adjustments as needed.
A little bit of research is crucial to ensuring the safety and wellness of your loved one. Your family should also watch for potential signs of abuse or neglect that could be occurring.
At Senior Safe and Sound, we are advocates for the senior community. If you would like to learn more about preventing elder abuse and neglect, then we are here to help. Contact us by email at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.