1. Get involved and be informed. Call your Ombudsman (the state agent who oversees elder care in your area), or the Department of Human Resources if you have specific complaints about how a nursing home has treated you or a family member.
2. Make unscheduled visits. Drop in and see how your family member is being treated when the nursing home staff doesn't know you're coming. Carefully check your family member's condition by looking under the sheets. Check for the appearance of pressure sores, particularly at pressure points, such as the heels, hips, buttocks, elbows and shoulders.
3. If you suspect improper treatment, request that you be allowed to review the patient's chart. If you don't understand what you read, ask questions.
4. If you have concerns, document them. Keep records of any problems you encounter, including dates, times and parties involved. Send a letter of concern to the nursing home Administrator with a copy to your Ombudsman.
5. If you suspect abuse or neglect, start documenting your concerns both in writing and with photographs, the sooner the better.
If you think a loved one might have experienced abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact us online or call our law firm on our nationwide, toll-free number, 1-800-320-2384.