When we place our loved ones in a nursing home, we expect the employees to provide them with the highest caliber of care and attention. Unfortunately, nursing homes can be a hazardous environment for vulnerable patients despite paying top dollar.
Some common nursing home complaints may not put an older adult at risk for injury or death. However, any complaint should be addressed quickly by the nursing home staff. If your complaints are not addressed, you may wonder if you can report these deficiencies to the authorities. Read ahead to learn more about common nursing home complaints and what to do when your concerns are not addressed.
Common Nursing Home Complaints
Many complaints made by residents and family members are prompted by concerns that a nursing home is not providing quality care. All complaints should be addressed by nursing home staff with a suggested solution. However, some complaints may point to a deeper problem at the nursing home that may put your loved one at risk. If that is the case, consider speaking to an attorney about your legal options.
Slow Responses to Requests
Many nursing homes have in-room calling systems where residents may call for staff assistance. However, nursing homes may experience staffing shortages from time to time, which increases response times to these requests. When residents don’t get the assistance they need, they are more likely to suffer from injuries, such as falls, as they try to fend for themselves. Slow response times may also be indicative of more serious neglect that could have an adverse effect on residents’ health.
Poor Food Quality
Nursing homes often receive complaints about the quality of food provided to residents. Residents and family members may feel that meals fail to provide adequate nutrition, flavor, or fresh ingredients. Nursing homes should also ensure that residents are seated at a table with people with whom they can talk and socialize with during meals.
Facilities often face staffing issues and high workloads for existing staff. These issues create bottlenecks and slow response times to resident and family member requests. Some nursing homes may employ under-trained staff members, increasing the risk of resident injuries, medication errors, and other health concerns.
Inadequate staffing and high turnover can also create circumstances that are ripe for abuse and neglect. Overworked staff members can take their frustration out on helpless residents. And if there aren’t enough workers, they may neglect residents’ needs. Additionally, nursing homes with a shortage of workers may not conduct adequate background checks to ensure resident safety.
Family members often place loved ones in a nursing home for round-the-clock care and socialization opportunities with other residents. Unfortunately, some residents may find it difficult to form friendships with other residents when conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression make socialization difficult. Unfortunately, many residents rely on staff or family members to keep them company but find the periods between these interactions leave them lonely and neglected.
Many nursing home residents require constant care and attention. This often requires staff members to frequently enter rooms to check on residents and provide medications. However, this may interrupt the sleep of other residents in the same room. Additionally, residents may complain about other loud residents and conversations between staff during the nighttime hours.
Where Do You File a Complaint About a Nursing Home?
Some nursing home issues require serious attention, particularly in situations where the complaints may affect the health and safety of your loved one. Any person may file a complaint. However, knowing which agency should be notified of your complaint is crucial. For example, you should notify your area’s California Department of Public Health (CDPH) district office. The CDPH administers a licensing and certification program that is responsible for providing regular oversight of licensed and certified healthcare facilities and certain types of healthcare professionals. Each complaint is assigned to a health facilities supervisor. This supervisor is a registered nurse who classifies the allegation. These complaints are prioritized based on the following criteria:
- The content,
- The immediacy,
- The risk created by the alleged action or inaction,
- The state statutes and federal requirements CDPH enforces.
Upon review of the complaint, the CDPH may also refer it to other governmental agencies. How the CDPH handles a complaint depends on the severity of the action that prompted the complaint and the risk it may pose to the residents of the nursing home.
At Silva Injury Law, we treat our clients like family. We know that choosing a nursing home for a loved one is an important decision. We know how important a decision it is to place a loved one in a nursing home. You and your family deserve the peace of mind that comes with a facility providing them quality care and attention. If you have concerns about a nursing home, let us help you. We look out for the best interests of you and your family with a commitment to achieving the best resolution. We offer free in-person or remote consultations. Contact Silva Injury Law today online or by phone to learn more about how we can help you
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