A Loved One with Dementia: How to Look For a Proper Staffing in a Nursing Home

According to the World Health Organization, dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people. Dementia, which is a syndrome in which there is a deterioration in memory, behavior and thinking, causes many who suffer from it to lose the ability to perform their regular activities.

Elders are stricken with dementia far more than any other age group. In many cases, dementia can lead to an elder moving into a long term care residence, such as a nursing home. If you or someone you know is considering placing an elder suffering from dementia in the care of a nursing facility in California, there are certain questions you’ll want to ask of the facility.

In this post, we will specifically talk about what to look for in terms of the staff of a skilled nursing facility or nursing home. In a subsequent article, we’ll talk about other facility services you’ll want to inquire about.

Questions about the staff should include:

*How many of the staff members are awake during the night?

*Does the staff employ people who specialize in working with elders with dementia?

*What is the ratio of staff members to residents?

*Are staff members assigned to specific residents, or do all staff members work with all residents?

*Do those with specialized training in dementia schedule the residents’ activities?

*What kind of ongoing education and training in dementia does the staff receive?

*Have does the staff handle difficult residents?

*Are activities for residents customized to their ability, or does the facility use a one-size-fits-all model?

*Who supervises the staff responsible for caring for elders with dementia? What are their qualifications?

In addition to asking these questions, you’ll certainly want to take a tour of the facility, and observe the other residents. You’ll be smart to do a bit of research about the facility on your own to check for violations, license suspensions, and complaints.

Choosing to place an elder suffering from dementia into a skilled nursing facility or residential nursing home is never easy. However, you can safeguard your loved ones better by doing your research, asking a lot of questions and visiting the facility yourself.

Christopher C. Walton is a San Diego, California based elder abuse attorney whose practice is dedicated to issues involving elder abuse & neglect. If you believe you or somebody you know has been a victim of elder abuse, please call (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation with an elder abuse attorney.