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Common safety problems in nursing homes

It is always difficult to admit that someone needs help getting through the daily business of taking care of himself or herself. This difficulty is compounded when family members have to start accepting responsibility for their elderly loved ones' fate and future.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities need to pass some tests for one to be entirely comfortable that a senior resident will have adequate food, safety and comfort. Let's look into some common causes for a nursing home to be unsafe.

Facilities must have good security and the availability of safety alerts for incapacitated residents. Lighting has to be bright enough to help those with lessened eyesight read, move around and ensure they are taking the right medications.

Chairs almost always require armrests so elders have more support getting into and out of chairs. Bathrooms should have handrails, and all walkways have to be clear at all times.

Some medical problems may occur, such as infections or improper medications. Nurses and health care providers must be practiced and informed with common medical problems for which to look out.

Abuse is rare but possible in nursing homes. Do research on the internet about any prospective assisted care facility, and investigate any allegations of improper and hazardous behavior among nursing home staff and management.

If senior residents exhibit unexplained injuries or sudden depression, do what is possible to rule out nursing home abuse. Legal help can be useful when weighing the options for response, including law enforcement involvement, settlements or court actions.

Source: Senior Directory, "Top 10 Safety Hazards in Assisted Living Facilities," Michael McQuinn, accessed Sep. 28, 2017

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