While the answer to this question is subjective as your location, physical ability, etc. will play a factor in how often you are able to go and visit with a loved one, ideally, you should be seeing them on a regular basis. According to Dr. Rita A. Jablonski-Jaudon, when you first move a relative into a nursing home, it would be good to visit on a daily basis “because it allows the family to see how the individual is adjusting to the new surroundings and if the new facility is responsive to the needs of the individual” [Source: Saunders House].
While daily visits are recommended, Dr. Jablonski-Jaudon said that she pays more attention to the quality of the visits as opposed to the quantity of them. However, depending on where your loved one is living and the medical conditions they suffer from, you have to decide whether you can commit to daily visits and if it is necessary to go and see your aging relative every day. Now, once your loved one has settled in, Dr. Jablonski-Jaudon says you may be able to reduce your visitation frequency and determine what the best times are to visit. She says that rather than going every day, you might begin to visit every other day and as time goes on, you might increase the gaps in between each visit.
When a loved one who is living in a nursing home suffers from dementia, memory care experts say these patients often “respond more favorably when they have a predictable routine.” With that in mind, you might consider creating a consistent schedule. One thing we do recommend when creating a schedule to visit your loved one is that it cannot hurt to pop in at a random time every now and then just to see how things are going even when the staff least expects you to show up. The sad reality is that nursing home abuse and neglect has grown into a serious issue, and many cases of it often go unreported.
How can regular visits to see a relative in a nursing home reduce the chances of him or her becoming the victim of abuse or neglect?
Aside from your visit serving as a time for you to spend with a loved one, it can also help prevent them from becoming a victim of abuse and even allow you to recognize any red flags. While visiting your loved one won’t guarantee that he or she won’t be mistreated, if the staff expects your visits, majority of the workers will be less inclined to harm the patient knowing someone is going to be checking on them regularly. And because nursing home abuse is rarely reported to the authorities even though the law requires facilities to do so, if you don’t visit a loved one, you may never know when something has gone wrong.
Consider this story involving a 96-year-old nursing home resident.
The 96-year-old female resident who has since passed away had been living at Kenwood Terrace Nursing Home in Sycamore Township. The caregiver, 27-year-old Alan Tillman, had been caring for the woman and during one encounter with her, he accidentally dropped her while moving her from her bed to her wheelchair. The woman fell on her knees and rather than report the incident, Tillman placed the woman in her wheelchair and “continued with his day,” reported Cincinnati.com.
Although Tillman allegedly knew the woman was in pain, he refused to take the proper action to address the issue as he feared he would lose his job. After three days, the pain intensified and that is when the woman was taken in for x-rays. Doctors determined that she had two broken femurs. The elderly woman later passed away, although the source highlighted that it was unknown whether the injuries she suffered played a role in her death.
Tillman, after admitting that he had dropped the woman, was charged with patient abuse.
While incidents cannot always be prevented, when you take the time to visit a loved one, it gives you the opportunity to assess their condition and determine if they are receiving the care you expect and that they deserve. Any time a red flag presents itself or you have been informed that your loved one is being mistreated, we recommend you contact our office to speak with a Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyer who can determine if you have a case on your hands. While not all red flags or complaints are a sheer sign of abuse, it is best to have a legal expert be the one to determine this.
If you have any questions regarding the care your loved one is receiving in a Chicago nursing home or have a concern you would like to discuss, contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. now to speak with a lawyer who can help you.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601