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Questions and Answers for Nursing Home Section

Submitted by jrlaw on Apr 14th, 2010


Let These Questions and Answers Guide You In Everything You Want to Know About Nursing Homes and Abuse.

Question:         I’ve cared for my father at home for the past six years, but he now needs constant supervision that I’m unable to provide.  I’ve asked a few friends about which nursing homes to consider, but I’m afraid of making the wrong choice.  How can I find out if a nursing home is “good” or “bad?” 
Answer:           There isn’t a definitive list of “good” or “bad” nursing homes, but you can make better decisions if you do some educated snooping and make proper use the information that’s available.  You should visit any home you’re considering so you can see for yourself where your father might live.  Does the facility seem clean and well organized?  Is the staff responsive?  Take notes and ask for copies of written policies concerning patient care.  You should also contact the Texas Department of Human Services (1-800-458-9858) to check state survey reports.  Every nursing home in the state is inspected annually, and the TDHS can tell you whether the home you’re considering has violated state or federal standards
Question:        My father is in a Dallas nursing home and he has had some problems with the staff physician.  Dad is so uncomfortable with this doctor that he no longer wants to see her.  We do have a family doctor who is willing to visit Dad personally, but the nursing home tells me this is not allowed.  What can I do?
Answer:           Don’t be fooled by what you’ve been told.  Under Texas law, every nursing home resident has the right to choose his or her own physician.  Nursing homes often provide medical services by employing their own doctors, but residents have an absolute right to choose another doctor to care for their medical needs.  The ability to choose your own doctor is one of many rights afforded to elderly Texans under Section 102.003 of the Texas Human Resources Code (“The Elder Bill of Rights), which is available in its entirety from the Texas Attorney General at www.oag.state.tx.us.  Just as residents can choose their own doctor, state law requires nursing homes to consult with residents when planning their care to insure proper treatment. 
Question:       My wife and I are in our 60s and we’ve cared for my 90-year old mother for several years. We’re considering a nursing home, but I’m worried because of the recent newspaper and television reports describing nursing home abuse.  How can I be sure the home we choose is comfortable and safe?
Answer:           Choosing a nursing home for a parent or loved one is one of the most important choices a family member can make. Visit the home you’re considering and get to know the administrators and personnel. Take notes during your visit. Is the facility clean? Do the employees handle other patients with care? Talk with families who are visiting their loved ones. Their experiences should give you a good idea of how your mother will be treated. Many state and federal laws are designed to prevent and punish nursing home abuse. A complete report on Texas nursing home laws is available from the Texas Attorney General at www.oag.state.tx.us.


The Rasansky Law Firm wants you to be informed on nursing home abuse. If you suspect that one of your loved ones has undergone abuse in a nursing home, contact us. We deal with cases of nursing home negligence all the time and would love to help you.