Before you move your elderly relative to a nursing home, you should be wary of certain rights that every elderly person in a retirement home should have.  You should pay a visit to the prospective facility to ensure the administration and care is up to par.

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The first thing you might want to take note of is the courtesy between caregivers and elders.  Are the caregivers polite? Do they call each senior citizen by their given name?  Do they engage in conversation with them and seem genuinely happy to interact with them?  Are the activities provided by the facility safe and not demeaning?  It is important that your elder enter a safe and amiable environment.  

In addition to friendliness, the care of the facility should also be prompt and comprehensive.  They should not be subject to unnecessary physical restraints, all care should be personalized and comfortable.  If your elder presses a call light, it should be answered promptly and their needs handled efficiently.  Fresh, nutritious food should provided at every meal, and elders should be given enough time to eat.  If they need assistance using the restroom, a caregiver should be available to help.

Any medications or medical procedures should be administered properly and promptly.  Each elder is entitled to personal attention and shouldn’t be rushed.  Make sure that the caregiver knows exactly how to perform certain medical procedures such as injections, changing of fluids, etc.  

Also, make sure your elderly relative is not subjected to indecent exposure.  Often times a caregiver will forget to close the curtains to their room or close the door.  Caregivers should show respect to the elderly, even if they are not aware that they their privacy is being violated.

In addition, caregivers should not have personal information without consent of the senior.  Because of the time spent together, caregivers may have a lot of access to the senior’s private information.  

You should keep in mind that your elderly relative can refuse care from the nursing home.  They have a right to refuse food and medical care.  They also can change caregivers if they wish. 

Finally, it's best if the nursing home is located near your own home, so you can check up on the senior frequently. You can call an Eldercare Locatorat 1-800-677-1116 to get help on finding an appropriate nursing home facility in your area.

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