Six Ways To Advocate for your Loved One In a Long-Term Care Facility
1. Visit your loved one at their nursing home often. Besides giving you and your loved one a chance to interact and connect in-person, visiting their nursing home allows you to get to know the staff and the other residents whom they interact with on a daily basis. Since the majority of nursing home abuse and neglect is committed by someone familiar to the victim, regular visits with your loved one may enable you to spot nursing home neglect or abuse before it becomes deadly.
2. Remain calm and professional anytime you are working with a nursing home staff. Establishing calm and even friendly relationships with the nursing home staff at your loved one’s long-term care facility allows you to better monitor their care. It also means that the nursing home staff is more likely to respect and respond to any questions or concerns that you may have about your loved one's long-term care.
3. Be vocal. Ask questions about your loved ones care. Get involved in creating and implementing their treatment plan. Encourage the nursing home to develop new activities for residents. Become a part of the facility’s Nursing Home Family Council.
4. Try and go to as many of your loved ones doctors’ appointments as possible. Attending doctors’ visits and being present during hospital stays allows you to better understand and prioritize your loved ones medical needs. It also means that you know the doctor has all of the facts so that he can best diagnose and develop a treatment plan.
5. Familiarize yourself with your State’s Long-Term Care Ombudsmen. These offices and services have been established to help provide the best and most efficient care for your loved one. Knowing exactly who your State’s Ombudsman is, and what they can do if you are concerned about the care your loved one is receiving, empowers you to advocate properly.
6. File all complaints in writing. If you really want to ensure that someone reads and responds to your complaint, put it in writing. This also ensures that there is a document trail should you ever need to prove that the issue was not handled or not handled appropriately.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact the elder abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere.