Is it worth it to complain internally to nursing home management about bad care? Should you complain to the nursing home administrator and director of nursing about negligent treatment?
The answer is yes, but there is a time, place and manner in which to raise your nursing home complaints for maximum effectiveness. Our nursing home abuse attorneys explain the right ways to raise internal complaints to the nursing home administrator and the director of nursing.
Thou Doth Protest Too Much… About Bad Nursing Home Care?
Many are afraid to rock the boat. They fear that complaining to management about bad nursing home care will make their loved one’s living situation unconformable. Some fear that it will lead to reprisals, possibly even worse care.
Undoubtedly, there are repercussions for every action. However, this is not a reason to allow your family member to suffer in silence. It is your job to let management know of your perceived shortcomings. Even if you feel the conversation might be awkward.
The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”
Fear motivates people. The same way that you are fearful to raise complaints about your loved one’s care to management, nursing home staff fears discipline from management.
The Positive Impact of Making a Complaint to the Nursing Home Management
If you make your complaints known the management, word will travel down to the intermediary nurses and to the aides providing the day to day care. This means your loved one will be ‘marked’ by the caregivers.
A mental marking of a resident is not a bad thing. Your family member will be marked, not so much as a complainer, but rather, as someone whose family is invested and involved in their care.
Staff will learn quickly that if Mom is left dirty, the family will speak with management about it. This will inevitably lead to the management having a conversation with the caretakers. This is not a good experience for staff.
As a result, staff will be quicker to respond to a resident they have ‘marked’ as having involved family members. These residents get better care in the nursing home.
The Right Way to Internally Complain in a Nursing Home
Go to the top with your complaints. Speak with the Administrator, Director or Head Nurse. Hopefully, these individuals are above the petty politics of the facility that many intermediary shift managers are susceptible to.
Make your complaints short, clear cut and offer solutions. If you find your loved one is unclean, explain to the management specific incidents when you observed your family member dirty. If you feel like there is a specific aide or shift when this is occurring, suggest rotating out those caregivers for new staff.
It is always easier for nursing home management to remedy complaints if they understand the problem and have viable solutions.
Have a paper trail. Even if your complaints are raised to management verbally, ask for an email address of those involved, and follow up documenting your complaints via email. You can then calendar a follow up time and reply all to the original email, ensuring that action was taken to fix the problems.
Things to Avoid when Raising Nursing Home Care Complaints
Do not complain to the middle management in the facility. In other words, try to avoid raising nursing home care complaints to shift nurses or staff that only oversees a portion of the staff. The reason being, they will simply blame staff that they do not manage. There is a certain degree of politics in every nursing home facility. Many times, bonuses are directly tied to positive work performance. For this reason, speak with only facility-wide management to avoid someone blaming ‘the other shift.’
Do not complain about things that do not matter. This seems subjective, but you can use your judgment on what complaints warrant the attention of the facility’s top brass. For example, if you feel a staff member is inappropriately touching your mother, start with that complaint. Do not focus on the food being cold. That pales in comparison.
Keep your complaints focused. This dovetails into the above, but it is worth mentioning. Focus on the serious issues rather than have a rambling, stream of consciousness complaint session.
If You are Getting Nowhere with Internal Complaints
If you feel like your internal nursing home complaints are falling on deaf ears, you can report the facility anonymously to the appropriate state agency. Follow the blue hyperlink to learn more about reporting nursing home abuse and neglect in your area. Most of these government agencies allow you to report the facility without giving your name. When state investigators show up at the nursing home, no one will know who reported the facility.
Speak With a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney if Your Loved One was Seriously Injured of Killed
Hopefully, your complaints to the nursing home management will resolve your issue before a serious injury occurs. Unfortunately for many families, this is not the case.
If your loved one suffered any of the below injuries resulting in a hospitalization, you should speak with our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers immediately.
- Pressure sores
- Choking Deaths
- Medication Errors
- Broken Hips
- Fractured Pelvis
- Subdural Hematoma
- UTI’s resulting in Sepsis
The above injuries are strongly correlated with nursing home negligence and may result in a viable nursing home neglect claim.
Call our attorneys now for a completely free nursing home injury case consultation: 1-844-253-8919.
At Senior Justice Law Firm, these kinds of cases are all that we do. Call us now to learn more about your legal rights following a serious injury or wrongful death inside a nursing home or assisted living facility.
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