nursing home

There are some nursing home warning signs to watch for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As those wanting to help and protect our aging parents and other loved ones, we need to be very careful in how we select nursing homes for them.

Here are the first two paragraphs for a Toronto Star article from a few months ago that underscore the reasons for flashing warning signs for us all:

Three troubled Ontario nursing homes — including a Mississauga home — have been ordered to stop accepting new residents due to substandard care.

The crackdown came this week after the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care ordered each to “cease admissions,” meaning no new residents are allowed to move into the homes.

The message for us:

Be very thorough and intense about examing any nursing home for your parents or other aging loved ones. Make sure you take the time to look carefully at the facility and what it offers.

Take the sniff test: can you smell urine in the hallways, common rooms, shared bedrooms?

Talk to staff, residents, and family members of residents. Ask probing questions.

In fact, if you want to be extra careful, come spot visit at various times of day and night a few times to get a sense of the care giving going on.

There are lots of optons out there. Take your time, be patient, research. After all, you’re making decisons that will impact the lives of your aging parents and perhaps other elderly loved ones.

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Dr. Michael Gordon MD, MSc, FRCPC
Dr. Michael Gordon, MD, MSc, FRCPC and FRCP(Edin) is medical program director of Palliative Care at Toronto's Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System and professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He an educator and author and is involved professional and public education. An American by birth, he is a graduate of the University of St. Andrews Medical School in Scotland. His pre-specialty training included Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Nuclear Medicine. He came into geriatrics in Canada where he settled after much world-wide travelling for his medical training in 1973. He came into geriatrics by a confluence of unpredictable events prior to it being recognized as a medical specialty in 1981 at which time Dr. Gordon received the first certificate in Geriatric Medicine awarded by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. His career has included a wide range of clinical activities in eldercare, which for years included responsibilities at Toronto’s Mt. Sinai Hospital. His main commitment has been to the Baycrest Geriatric Centre where he served for many years as its Vice President of Medical Services and Head of the Department of Geriatrics and Internal Medicine. He currently devotes his clinic and administrative and educational activities to Geriatric out-patient care, in-patient palliative care, medical ethics and end-of-life planning, communication and care and writing for the lay and professional press. His books include his first book Old Enough to Feel Better: A Medical Guide for Seniors which went through three editions; An Ounce of Prevention: A medical guide for a healthy and successful retirement; The Encyclopedia of Health and Aging; Parenting your Parents (two Canadian and one American edition); Brooklyn Beginnings: A Geriatrician’s Odyssey; Moments that Matter: Cases in Ethical Eldercare; and most recently Late-Stage Dementia: Promoting Comfort Compassion and Care and now the revised third edition of Parenting your Parents: Straight Talk about Aging in the Family. For more information see drmichaelgordon.com

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