FAMILY MEMBER GUIDE TO NURSING HOMES
Not all complaints against a nursing home are best solved through litigation. Litigation is very expensive and often results in hard feelings and unresolved issues on one or both sides. We receive many calls from family members who are frustrated with the care their loved one is receiving that fit into this category.
Lauren Ellerman has written an article to address the concerns of these family members and give them some advice on what they can do to help their loved one. Some of her tips are as follows:
Be organized. Keep a diary or log of every visit.
Document your complaints. Write everything down and take pictures.
Complain to State/Local authorities. You can file a complaint with the Department of Social Services or the Virginia Department of Health.
Work with attending physicians. Yes. You can talk to them. Ask them questions and write down the answers.
What to do if a fall occurs. If a fall occurs, immediately get all the details – again write them down and make sure they are taking steps to prevent another fall.
If your resident stops eating – Review their chart yourself and help determine why they are not eating. Make sure the physician is aware and that they are taking steps to avoid malnutrition.
There are too many circumstances and situations to go into here. The best thing that you can do is to visit your loved one often and unannounced. As Lauren ends her article, “A supportive family can mean the difference between good care and poor care.”