We frequently hear from families that believe a nursing home has failed to provide care to their loved one…. and when I ask “why is your Mother still in that nursing home if you think they do not provide the care she needs,” I am often told “it is so convenient to my house.” Well, I understand the importance of convenience, but if a facility has failed to provide care, time and time again, please don’t leave your loved one there.
Here is our unofficial advice on how to respond:
1. Call Virginia Department of Health and file a complaint on the nursing home: 1-800-955-1819. Often these inspections do lead to change in the facility.
2. Ask for a copy of Facility Policies and Procedures. This will provide a great deal of insight into who does what at the nursing home.
3. Do not simply voice your complaints, put them in writing – dated, and save a copy.
4. Then request a follow up meeting with staff to see how the “Care Plan” has been changed, and what actions are being done to prevent the problem again.
5. Ask for names of nurses – full names, and staff, that attend every meeting.
6. If you believe your loved one was abused, or neglected, and they are still living, call your County Dept. of Social Services, and ask to speak to Adult Protective Services. They can also begin an investigation.
7. Ask for a full copy of the Nursing Home Records… (they can charge you for this)
and LAST BUT NOT LEAST
8. Remove your loved one from the facility – and explain why, in writing. Even if you know the move is eminent, complete steps 1-7 (after-all, it may help make the facility a better place for the person who takes your empty bed)!