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The right times to raise concerns in a nursing home

January 31, 2018
by I Advance Senior Care
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Dear Ombudsman:

My older sister is recently moved into a long-term care home. It seems to us that the staff was very attentive and very nice when she first arrived, but they aren’t so much anymore. We understand that the staff has a lot of people to care for at any given time. So how do we know what is acceptable, and when we have a legitimate right to complain?

I don’t want the staff to get in trouble and then take it out on my sister.

--Two Scared Sisters

Dear Sisters:

You have the right under federal and state regulations to voice any and all complaints without fear of punishment. PERIOD. We understand that because she relies on staff to t ake care of her basic needs, she may be afraid to speak up. However, if you or she don’t speak up, things won’t get better. So, we recommend:

You should speak with the Director of Nursing (DON) when:

  • It takes more than 15 minutes to get her call light answered.
  • A staff member or resident is being repeatedly unkind or disrespectful to her.
  • Her medicines are not given on time.

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