You might feel angst at the thought of leaving your loved one in a nursing home, especially if you formerly oversaw all care. If you have concerns about negligence, you may feel even more emotional every time you have to leave.
Knowing how to approach your concerns can help you handle the situation with dignity. Your immediate action could provide lifesaving intervention for your loved one and other residents.
Visit the facility regularly
Frequent visits to a nursing home facility can help you assess how the staff treats the residents there. Show up unannounced and look for warning signs of mistreatment. This could include foul odors, residents appearing unkempt, visible safety hazards and lack of social interaction. Document your concerns after each visit.
Gather evidence of your claim
Prior to disclosing your concerns, do your best to collect evidence of non-compliant behavior. Compare the poor behavior to promised expectations listed in the contract you signed when your loved one moved in. If possible, take photos of what concerns you. Any pictures or descriptions you have of what you notice should be promptly sent to the appropriate authority.
Report your concerns
You can report your concerns to any of the staff. However, Medicare.gov suggests filing a report with the director of nursing, an administrator, a social worker or a supervisor for the most impact. Ask about the implementation of preventative steps to stop unwanted behavior. Inquire about what communication you can expect to receive regarding the actions they take.
Nursing home neglect and abuse can directly impact your loved one’s quality of life and life expectancy. Your vigilance could help you uncover concerns before they put your loved one’s life in peril.