Few decisions are more heart-wrenching than choosing to place an aging parent in a nursing home. Still, often a long-term care facility is the best option. If your mother or father lives in a nursing home, you want to be certain she or he receives top-notch care.
Unfortunately, not all healthcare providers offer an exceptional level of care to aging patients. Sometimes, neglect turns into abuse. If you suspect your elderly parent is the victim of nursing home abuse, you must act quickly to protect your loved one and assert your legal rights. Here are four things you should do.
1. Watch for signs of abuse
It may surprise you to know that nursing home abuse is not always easy to detect. On the contrary, your aging parent may not be able to tell you about her or his experiences in the nursing home. Thus, you must watch for signs of abuse. If you see any, take photographs and document the incident. With a bit of effort, you can likely discover whether your parent is receiving adequate care.
2. Report your findings
Nursing homes typically have procedures they follow to investigate and stop abuse. Therefore, if you think your loved one has become the victim of elder abuse, you must report your findings to the facility’s administrator. Of course, if you believe your parent is in imminent danger, you may want to remove her or him from the facility immediately.
3. Complain to state regulators
If the nursing home administrator is unwilling to address your concerns, you may need to escalate your complaint to state regulators. The Mississippi Division of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification has an ombudsman who can help investigate the matter.
4. Demand action
Your aging parent may not be able to advocate for his or her best interests. Just as your mother or father took care of you when you were young, you may need to demand action on her or his behalf. Remember, care providers are likely to be on their best behavior when you are around. As such, try to be as present as possible. Schedule regular care meetings and ask for follow-up reports.
No one wants to think about placing an aging parent in a nursing home. Still, for many families, long-term care facilities offer the best possible care. If you think your parent is not receiving adequate care, though, you must work diligently to protect your mother’s or father’s interests.