When you help your parent move into a nursing home, you quickly realize the pros and cons of it. Your role changes significantly from closely monitoring your loved one every day to becoming an advocate for quality care. While nursing home staff may be taking over the core tasks of providing care, you still must be a voice to help make sure your loved one receives the proper treatment.
Unfortunately, not all nursing home situations work out for the best. You may hear complaints from your parent that he or she is not happy or getting the necessary attention. If so, your loved one is not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there were 2,433 nursing home complaints filed in 2015 in Florida. Here are some tips for handling these issues.
Do some investigating before you complain
It is important to assess the situation before going straight to the staff or administrators of the nursing home. Whether you formally complain or not depends on the severity of the issues and the complexity of the solutions. For example, if your parent is complaining about roommate conflicts, lost items or food issues, there may be easy explanations and resolutions. However, if there are signs of something more serious, such as malnutrition, neglect or abuse, you may need to look into taking legal action.
One way to get a closer look into what is going on is by establishing relationships with nursing aides and visiting as often as possible. As you develop connections with nursing aides, you can communicate the habits, preferences and quirks of your parent. You should attend any meetings regarding the care plan and raise any concerns you have.
Make a report if necessary
If you believe something is going seriously wrong in regards to the care of your loved one, you may need to file a complaint. Common places to report abuse include an ombudsman, the nursing home administration or the Florida Department of Health.