How to File a Complaint About Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is more common than many people realize. If a loved one is a nursing home resident, you should be alert for any signs of abuse. Nursing home abuse is illegal. If you suspect that a loved one has been abused or neglected, or is living in a nursing home where conditions are unsanitary or unsafe, or is in a facility that is short-staffed, there are steps that you can take to help protect them:
- You can try talking to the staff at your loved one’s nursing home.
- You can try talking to a long-term care ombudsman. These are volunteers who are trained to help resolve problems that residents have at long-term care facilities. They are available in every state.
- You can file a formal complaint with the agency in your state that regulates nursing homes. You can start with this step if you’d like. You’re not required to talk to a staff person or ombudsman first.
In California, you can file a complaint with the Licensing and Certification Division of the California Department of Public Health by calling or writing their district office. In other states, contact your State Survey Agency.
- After you file a complaint, an investigator will be assigned to your case. He or she will produce a written report.
- In California, if you are not satisfied with the investigator’s findings, you have the right to attend an informal hearing and the right to bring an attorney to the hearing with you. Other states have similar procedures.
- In California, if you attend an informal hearing and do not agree with the results, you have the right to file an appeal, but if the appeal is denied, you can’t appeal again.
- Talking to a nursing home abuse attorney at any stage of this process can help you cut through red tape and ensure that your loved one’s rights are protected. If you think that a loved one is being abused or neglected, or is living in unsafe conditions in a nursing home, contact the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630 to find out more about how we can help fight for your loved one’s right to live with dignity and respect.