Thursday, October 11, 2012

Reporting a Complaint against Your Senior's Nursing Home

Legitimate complaints against nursing homes are rarer than people may imagine, given the stories that circulate regarding abuse and neglect. While it is true that seniors have experienced unprincipled treatment at the hands of healthcare professionals in such elder care facilities, it is also true that the majority of nursing homes are staffed with caring, honest, and ethical professionals. Regardless of the odds of needing to report neglect or abuse at the hands of senior care providers, it is important to know where to go to make such a complaint if the issue ever arises in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

My Elder Advocate has provided a wonderful list of tips to help you through the process of making a complaint:

  1. Write the complaint out. While you may be tempted to simply speak with the professional in charge of the nursing care facility, it is important to have your complaint documented. Be specific when describing the incident(s) and avoid speculation.
  2. Remember not to threaten action. Try to stay as calm and professional as possible. This may sound impractical, given that you will certainly be concerned for the safety and health of your senior; however, getting angry and making threats will not help the situation.
  3. Make use of the chain of command, ensuring that you go up the proper channels. This may take longer, but making your complaint by the book will ultimately be the best move. Additionally, should this be an issue that is limited to one employee, rather than a widespread problem, it can be dealt with more quickly by going to the right professionals.
  4. Request a meeting with the nursing facility to discuss the issue and the plans that are in place to resolve it. Don't apologize for complaining—remember that you are advocating for your loved one.
  5. If your complaint is ignored or if the facility fails to prevent abuse or neglect from happening again, consult with an attorney and report the community to the Department of Health. If necessary, file a police report.
Making a complaint against a nursing home is a daunting task, but it is important that you stand up for the rights and safety of your senior. With these tips, you can document the incident and work to ensure that it will not happen again.

1 comment:

  1. Very informative post Todd. I was doing research on MDS software when I came across your blog and I'm definitely happy I did because this was a very interesting read. Thank you for sharing this with us!