My dad spent a total of a month in three different nursing homes in 2015. The first was the worst. It was so bad, we despaired of him making it out alive or at least sane. I made a deal with God that if He got my dad home again and healthy, I would write a letter to the powers that be about the awful conditions at that nursing home. My dad did make it home OK, and he is healed now. So a few weeks ago I sent a letter to two places, describing my dad's experience at the home. If you want to do this for your loved one, here are two websites that can help you:
Here is an excerpt of the letter I wrote:
"So I write this in the hopes that you do something about it. The elderly and infirm need us. They need us to stand up for what is right. To do what they are unable to do themselves. I hope you consider this and other complaints that I have seen investigated. I know that in some measures this center is not much different than others across the USA. That does not make it a good center by default. It just describes the sad state of affairs that our nursing homes are in! Our elderly have worked all their lives and sacrificed so much for their families and their communities for this? This is the reward they can expect from years of paying their taxes? To be cared for by temporary staff that have little inclination of what they are doing, and don’t seem to care either?"
During this time I also did some research. I found a website that ranks nursing homes: http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes. From what I read, it seems accurate. I also found another website that helps you get whatever services or help you need for your senior: http://metroaging.org/. Aside from the nursing home rating site, the other sites are for Minnesota, but something similar should be in your state. I also learned that when you enter a home, you get a patient bill of rights. If you don't, ask for one; they are required to give you one.
My mom advocated for my dad every day. If she was not there, I don't know if he would have survived. I know the nursing assistants are minimally educated and trained, but that is no excuse for laziness, abuse, or neglect. I know it is a sucky job, one I don't think I could ever do. But that is no excuse either. The elderly are vulnerable humans. They don't always have the ability to defend themselves. So it is up to the rest of us to do it. I know it's hard to put your parent in a home. There are some good ones out there. I have seen them. But if you can choose, choose wisely. Listen to your intuition. Ask questions. Demand answers. You are the consumer, you are paying the staff's salary. You know what's best for your parent. Think about what they have done for you. Then think about what they would want you to do for them, if you can. They deserve to live their lives out in dignity.