10 Questions To Ask A Nursing Home in Oklahoma

Choosing a nursing home for yourself or a loved one is a decision that requires careful consideration. The safety and well-being of nursing home or skilled nursing facility residents should be the top priority, yet nursing home abuse and neglect continue. Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst is a leader in representing Oklahomans who have experienced elder abuse and neglect at nursing homes or long-term care facilities. 

As a firm, we’re passionate about helping Oklahoma families seek justice after experiencing abuse and neglect at long-term care facilities. Our team has created this guide to help you thoroughly research and be diligent in selecting a facility that will ensure the safety of your loved one. 

As knowledgeable attorneys who have represented numerous clients in nursing home abuse cases, the Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst team understands the complexities involved in finding a safe nursing home in Oklahoma. In this guide, we offer tips and advice on what to ask to ensure the safety and quality of care for your loved ones.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact our team today for a free case evaluation. Our team is ready to help Oklahomans seek compensation for the harm they have suffered. 

1. Can you provide documentation of your facility’s licensing and accreditation status?

When evaluating a nursing home, one of the first questions is its licensing and accreditation status. The Oklahoma state regulatory agency should license a reputable facility–The Long Term Care Service of Protective Health Services.  

In Oklahoma, this organization oversees the accreditation of Long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, residential care homes, assisted living centers, continuum of care homes (which include an assisted living center and a nursing facility), and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID).

You may also look for accredited facilities from organizations such as The Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). These accreditations indicate that the nursing home has met rigorous standards for quality and safety, providing peace of mind to families entrusting their loved ones to their care.

2. What is the staff-to-resident ratio, and what are caregivers’ qualifications and training requirements?

The staffing levels and qualifications of caregivers are critical to the quality of care provided at a nursing home. Inquire about the ratio of staff to residents and the qualifications and training of caregivers. We’ve written previously about determining what kind of long-term care your loved one needs, and often, the qualifications of caregivers play a role in choosing. 

Adequate staffing ratios ensure that residents receive the attention and assistance they need, while well-trained staff members are better equipped to address complex medical needs and provide compassionate care.

3. What safety and security measures are in place to protect residents?

Safety and security should be top priorities at any nursing home. Ask about the safety measures in place, such as surveillance cameras, emergency response systems, and secure entrances. 

Inquire about protocols for preventing accidents and responding to emergencies, ensuring that residents are always protected.

4. Can you provide information on the nursing home’s track record for quality of care, including any recent surveys or deficiencies found during inspections?

The quality of care provided at a nursing home or assisted living center in Oklahoma is paramount to the health and well-being of its residents. 

Before visiting a nursing home or long-term care center, you should look up their record of inspection and surveys. Via the State of Oklahoma Department of Health website, you can research the center’s track record for quality of care, including any recent citations or deficiencies found during inspections. 

Additionally, you may ask to speak with current residents and their families to gather firsthand experiences and ensure that the nursing home meets their needs and expectations.

5. What are the policies regarding resident rights, and how does your nursing home, assisted living, or long-term care center ensure rights are respected?

Residents of nursing homes have rights guaranteed by federal and state laws. These laws make clear that residents have the right to make decisions on their own about their own affairs. 

Inquire about the nursing home’s policies regarding resident rights, including the right to privacy, dignity, and autonomy. Ensure that the facility respects and upholds these rights in its day-to-day operations.

6. How does the nursing home handle complaints and grievances from residents and their families?

It’s essential to know how the nursing home handles complaints and grievances. Ask about the facility’s procedures for addressing concerns and resolving disputes, ensuring that residents and their families have a voice in the care they receive. Accessible and transparent complaint processes are vital for maintaining accountability and promoting resident satisfaction.

7. Can you provide examples of what your center believes we should consider when evaluating nursing homes?

Asking each potential long-term care center what they believe is most important can be insightful for your search. Learning and observing at each center is one of the most important parts of finding a safe nursing home. As you evaluate, look for red flags that may indicate potential issues with the facility. 

In particular, watch for frequent staff turnover, unexplained injuries or bruises on residents, a lack of cleanliness or hygiene, and resident complaints of neglect or mistreatment. Trust your instincts and your senses.  What do you see?  What do you hear?  What do you smell?  Paying attention to your gut instincts and your senses can help you make sure that you have not chosen a facility that would be harmful to your loved one.   

8. What measures does the nursing home take to prevent accidents and respond to emergencies? 

Knowing the facility’s accident prevention and emergency response protocols helps ensure resident safety. Ask them what they would do in case of a fall or other common injuries at a nursing home

9. How does the nursing home ensure that residents receive appropriate medical care and assistance with daily activities?

Understanding the level of medical care, nutrition support, and assistance provided helps assess the facility’s ability to meet residents’ needs. Bedsores are a common sign of neglect in nursing homes. Providing adequate assistance to vulnerable residents is essential. 

Additionally, malnutrition and dehydration are common signs of abuse in nursing homes and assisted living. When facility employees are not trained or capable of ensuring proper nutrition and hydration for residents, abuse and neglect can occur. 

10. Can you provide references from current residents and their families? 

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities should be prepared (and willing!) to provide references from residents and their families. Be prepared to ask questions of the references to better understand the facility’s ability to provide safe care. 

Types of Abuse Experienced At Nursing Homes 

As experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers in Oklahoma, we have seen abuse take many forms. Protecting our most vulnerable neighbors is important to our team. 

Although we hope you or your loved one is never subject to abuse, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the types of abuse common in nursing homes. The National Center on Elder Abuse identifies seven different types of harm that can be taken against elderly people – especially those in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility.

These are the types of harm they identify:

  1. Physical Abuse
  2. Sexual Abuse
  3. Emotional Abuse
  4. Financial Exploitation
  5. Neglect
  6. Abandonment
  7. Self-neglect

If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse, Seek Help Today 

Finding a safe nursing home in Oklahoma requires thorough research, careful consideration, and proactive measures to ensure the well-being of residents. By asking the right questions and staying vigilant for red flags, you can make an informed decision that provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones. 

Remember that our team at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst is here to provide legal guidance and support if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect. Your loved ones deserve the highest standard of care, and we are committed to fighting for their rights and holding negligent parties accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation

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