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Know how to handle problems at nursing homes

Moving to a nursing home is a significant change for a senior. Your elderly parent may have trouble adjusting. However, you should know when your parent’s complaints hint at deeper problems within the facility.

When a senior first mentions problems, you may want to visit. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, an in-person visit allows you to determine whether your parent receives quality care at the nursing home. Some complaints, such as those concerning food and roommates, could be part of the adjustment period. However, you may notice that your parent does not receive enough food or that the staff members are disrespectful. In this situation, you should take action.

Speak to the staff

Many nursing homes offer quarterly reviews for each resident. This meeting is a good time to bring up the problems you have noticed and explain your concerns. If you observe signs of neglect or abuse, though, you may not be able to wait for this review.

You could set up a meeting with the director of the facility. You may want to bring evidence to back up your claims. Your parent could have lost a significant amount of weight since moving into the facility, for example. In this situation, photographs can demonstrate the contrast. If the director does not take action to address your concerns, there are other options you can consider.

Report problems

The Illinois Department on Aging says that there are several ways you can alert authorities about neglect in nursing homes. You can speak to a local ombudsman who will investigate. However, you may need to contact emergency services if you suspect that your parent is in a life-threatening situation. Once your parent is out of danger, you can lodge a complaint with the Illinois Department of Health.

Early intervention can help ensure that your elderly parent does not remain in a neglectful or abusive situation.

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