For many of us, wanting to give the best care to our elderly parents and relatives is something we strive for. Due to the commitment and level of care needed, a nursing home can provide a sense of relief and security. However, even these types of facilities can be found to give neglectful or even abusive care to its residents. Many nursing homes receive money through Medicare, which as a result holds them responsible to federal regulations, one of those being to honor the right’s of its inhabitants. One of the best ways to make sure your loved ones are receiving quality care is to visit them regularly. Robyn Grant, who is the director of public policy and advocacy for The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care commented that visitors should “vary the time of day that you go in. Visit in the evenings, on weekends and holidays. Because if the facility is understaffed, those are particular times when you will see that.”
If you do see a problem or issue, its essential that you file a complaint with the nursing home. Nursing homes are obligated to have a formal complaint filing process and either residents or their family members should have access to this information. In keeping with regulations, nursing homes are required to follow up with every complaint in written form. If you do not hear back within a timely manner, or if you see the problem still evident, the next step is to contact the state agency that is tasked with performing inspections or the state ombudsman program. An ombudsman is defined as “an official appointed to investigate individuals’ complaints against maladministration, especially that of public authorities.” There is a long-term care division of each ombudsman program who also act as a supporter for residents in these types of facilities. One of the top issues reported involve discharge or even eviction from the facility. Other complaints involve timeliness of response from the care team to assist a resident who has requested help, as well as the attitude of the staff towards the residents.
One of the main things to remember is to be proactive in taking charge of your loved one’s care. This includes helping to come up with a good care plan, regularly speaking with nursing staff, and get to know the other families who have members living in the nursing home.
If you or a loved one have experienced nursing home abuse or neglect please contact our office at (303)-999-9999 or (303)-835-9342 to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our experienced attorneys. You may also visit our website at www.boesenlaw.com for more information.