Common Mistakes People Make When Choosing Nursing Home Care

Churchill Huston |

Common Mistakes People Make When Choosing Nursing Home Care

While the thought of nursing home abuse is disturbing, an undeniable fact is that it occurs all too often. Despite entrusting a family member or friend to a caretaker, there is a tendency to worry about him/her. You hope and expect that they will get the same amount of care and attention from the caregiver as you would provide. While most caregivers do so, often, this isn’t the case.

While placing a family member or friend in the wrong home can be corrected, the real problem lies in mistreatment by the caregiver. Family members must initiate action against any misdeeds of caregivers. However, a lack of information about caregiving and its associated laws leads to a lack of action on behalf of the victim.

You deserve the best care for your family member from a nursing home or assisted living facility, and not getting this is a serious matter. As experts in the field of nursing home abuse, we want what is best for you and your family member. To help you get the best care and nursing home abusers from going scot-free, here are some of the most common mistakes people make when they have concerns about the care a loved one is receiving in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

1. Not knowing the rules that govern nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In every state, nursing home and assisted living industries are governed by regulations. The hope is that both Federal and State regulations will ensure nursing home residents receive the care their family is promised to prevent falls, bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, and infection. If the nursing home or assisted living facility doesn’t follow the rules, they can lose the right to receive payment from Medicare and Medicaid, their largest source of income.

For family members, knowing the rules can be a powerful tool to help make sure their loved one gets the care they deserve. Don’t let the legal jargon discourage you and don’t let the nursing home or assisted living facility use the jargon to deny your family member the treatment the law requires. The rules nursing homes and assisted living facilities are required to follow common sense and can be used to demand proper care. The tools you need to help secure reliable care for your family member are written down and available either from the facility or on the internet.

2. Not knowing your rights. Nursing home residents have rights, and the nursing home has to tell you about them. The nursing home must inform residents both orally and in writing of their rights. 42 CFR 483 (B) § 483.10(b)(1)&(7). The tools you need to help secure good care for your family member are written down and available either from the facility or on the internet. To learn more about it, please click on the website.

3. Thinking your loved one is stuck with the health care providers assigned to you by the facility. The resident has a right to access persons and services inside and outside the facility. 42 CFR 483.10. This means they can meet physicians and other healthcare providers as well as family and friends.

The right to access physicians and healthcare providers go hand in hand with the nursing home’s duty to provide residents with the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. 42 CFR § 483.25. You have the right to demand proper care for your family member, and these two rules give you the ammunition you need to hold the nursing home responsible for providing the care they promised.

4. Failing to use the social worker in the facility or at an outside hospital. Too often I have clients who feel unable to remove their family member from a nursing home or assisted living facility that is providing lousy care. When you see signs of abuse and neglect, such as bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, unexplained injuries or you are told that your loved one is repeatedly falling, you can take action.

Voicing your complaints to the facility social worker, in writing, is an excellent place to start. You can demand that your loved one be sent to a new facility, and they must assist you. The same holds true for hospital social workers. If your family member is hospitalized, you must express your concerns, preferably in writing, to the hospital staff social worker. They can and will help you find a better situation for your loved one. It often takes persistence, however, it is well worth the effort.

5. Failing to call the state or local area agency on aging. Every state has a telephone number you can call to report suspected abuse and neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility. If you see signs of abuse and neglect, such as bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, unexplained injuries or you are told that your loved one is repeatedly falling, make the call and report it.

An individual from the appropriate state agency will come to the nursing home or assisted living facility to investigate. Even if your concerns are not substantiated the facility will know you are on top of them and willing to make sure your loved one gets the care to which they are entitled. In Pennsylvania the number to call is 1-800-254-5164.

If you need any legal help to tackle a nursing home abuse matter, reach out to Churchill H. Huston. I have extensive experience in dealing with a nursing home abuse matters, and I ensure the verdict is in my client’s favor. To learn more about nursing abuse and neglect, please click here. If you have any questions about nursing abuse and neglect, get in touch with me by clicking here.

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