While most nursing homes treat residents with care and respect, unfortunately, some offer sub-par quality service. The most common complaints about nursing homes include neglect, medical malpractice, and even abuse.
If your loved one is receiving poor care or was subject to abuse while residing in a nursing home, you must take action. It is essential to gather proof and documentation to prove your claim. You can also talk to the administration; but first, we strongly advise you to consult a lawyer.
The Most Common Complaints About Nursing Homes
All nursing home facilities are obliged to respect a certain standard of care. When they fail to do so, action must be taken to protect those who are most vulnerable, the residents. However, for this to happen, residents must voice their concerns to loved ones.
The issue is rather complex. All complaints warrant attention and should be addressed. It is also important to note that there is a range in the severity associated with complaints, from mild to severe.
For example, while sleep disruptions are certainly unpleasant, in some cases, the staff has errands to run while some (or all residents sleep). A possible solution would be for staff members to be more silent during the nighttime or afternoon. On the other hand, abuse of any sort should not be tolerated, and immediate action must be taken to protect residents.
Poor Quality Food
This is an ongoing challenge of healthcare facilities; complaints about food quality are fairly common in nursing homes. Although it can be challenging to accommodate a range of dietary needs and tastes, nursing homes can do more to improve their food quality and offerings.
While taco Tuesdays can be fun, having the same food once on each day of the week can instill a sense of boredom. Implementing more variety in the menu can help avoid monotony. Furthermore, to tantalize the residents’ sense of adventure, the facility can occasionally offer traditional cuisine from around the world.
Residents often complain of sleep disruption when staff comes in to take their vital signs or administer medication. In other cases, residents report staff members talking loudly outside their rooms at night, turning on lights, and making noise after hours. Disruptions can also be caused by fellow residents who are having trouble sleeping.
Some of these concerns can be easily addressed by the administration. For example, staff members should talk more quietly during the night and do so in more secluded areas, not near a resident’s room.
Lack of Social Interaction
Nursing homes can be isolating places, and many residents depend on staff to meet their social needs. However, some facilities cut out social activities to save on costs, leaving residents few opportunities to mingle with others. Isolation and loneliness are common problems in nursing homes, and administrators must create a healthier social environment for their residents.
Low wages, long hours, and difficult work mean it can be hard for nursing homes to hire and retain staff. Short staffing often means that there may be delays between the time that residents request help and the time that help arrives.
Some facilities fail to train their employees properly, which can lead to dangerous situations for residents. Short staffing is a major problem that can often lead to overworked and frustrated staff members. Dissatisfaction at the workplace, in turn, can overshadow quality care.
Nursing home abuse is all too common. Residents have complained about being handled roughly, being verbally abused, and neglected. Staff often work long hours and dealing with residents can be physically and emotionally taxing, leading them to lash out physically and verbally.
Financial abuse is also common. Staff members and other residents can steal money from residents, persuade them to sign over important access to their wealth, or talk them into handing over credit cards or checks.
There have been controversial cases of staff encouraging violence between residents, neglecting them for hours on end, and cases of sexual assault. Without proper supervision, some residents have been known to attack other residents. Violence between residents is an often-overlooked area, as most eyes tend to focus on abuse from staff members.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, mistreated, or neglected, the first thing you can do is to keep accurate records of your findings. If you have communicated with the administration about the abuse, keep those records.
Visit often at unpredictable times to see for yourself what is happening in the nursing home. Send a family member who the staff doesn’t recognize to observe on your behalf. Take photos and videos of any injuries, bedsores, or unsafe conditions.
If you wish to make sure that you build a solid case from the get-go, contact a skilled nursing home abuse attorney. Your Indianapolis nursing home abuse lawyer will start an investigation into the allegations. Take the right steps to stop the abuse and force the responsible parties to compensate your family for the pain and suffering your loved one has experienced.
After a careful review of your case, the lawyer can further advise you on the best steps to take. For example, raising the issue in question to the administration is a delicate task. An attorney can offer valuable guidance on how to tackle this problem.
In most cases, even the threat of a lawsuit is enough to force the nursing home administrators to make changes and improve conditions in the facility. By taking action (legal action, if necessary), you not only protect your loved one from further abuse or neglect but also all the other residents from future harm.
Nursing homes promise to offer a safe haven to the most vulnerable among us. Yet sometimes they fail to meet their promise. If your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, do not allow it to continue for another day. Take steps today to ensure a safer future for your loved one.