Watching elderly parents lose the ability to care for themselves can be unbelievably heartbreaking. Often, moving your mother or father to a nursing home is the best way to ensure your loved one receives necessary care. Unfortunately, though, healthcare professionals sometimes neglect the needs of their patients.
You should be able to trust a nursing home to take good care of your parent. If the facility’s staff does not do an effective job, you may need to explore legal options to protect your mother or father. Before you file a lawsuit, though, you may want to take some other steps to deal with nursing home neglect.
1. Talk to your parent
If your aging parent has dementia or another communication impediments, you may not be able to get much information about nursing home neglect. Still, talking to your parent is a good idea. Rather than asking directly about abuse, discuss everyday occurrences with your mother or father. Asking about food, medication, hygiene and activities may give you valuable insights into the level of care your parent receives.
2. Create an extensive record
You can expect nursing home administrators to push back on allegations of neglect. Still, it is difficult to argue with proof. Therefore, try to create an extensive record about the care your mother or father receives. If things seem amiss, document them in a written memorandum. Also, take photographs of the nursing home environment. If your parent tells you about bad behavior, try to record the name and title of anyone involved.
3. Inform the administrator
Part of being a nursing home administrator involves responding to patient complaints. If your parent is not receiving adequate care, inform the administrator, and request an investigation. Also, ask for a resolution report. Then, watch for signs of retaliation.
4. File an official report
You may not be able to stop nursing home neglect without official help. If you need to file a complaint, the long-term care ombudsman can likely help. The nursing home administrator should also provide you with instructions for filing an official report.
Your elderly mother or father should be safe inside a nursing home. If you suspect abuse, you must work diligently to fix the problem. Rather than moving your parent out of the facility, with a bit of persistence, you may be able to improve care.