One of the most difficult decisions in life involves placing elderly loved ones in a nursing home. This choice may be essential to ensure their wellbeing and about 90 percent of Alabama nursing home residents and their families rate their facilities as excellent or good. However, it only takes one errant caregiver — or even another resident — to turn a highly-regarded facility into a dangerous nightmare for defenseless seniors.
Filing a Complaint is a Multi-Step Process
After hearing about abuse and neglect concerns from several viewers, WSFA published a story pertaining to these issues. During their investigation, a representative from the Alabama Nursing Home Association laid out the process that concerned families should follow when they have concerns:
• The process begins by expressing concerns to facility administration and then watch for improvements.
• If no changes occur, it is time to contact the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
• The ADPH then has to contact the facility and request information about the concerns.
• The facility must quickly respond to the ADPH request, which then needs to review the information and decide if they need more information or if they need to perform an on-site investigation, which requires additional time.
Although every step of the process has strict time limits, it is easy to expect that senior family members may see little or no relief for an extended time period. During this time, families typically must make numerous visits to their loved ones to help ensure their safety. In severe situations, they may feel like the only alternative is to temporarily take their relatives to their homes, which may be ill-equipped to handle their special needs.
An Experienced Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney Can Advocate for Nursing Home Residents and their Families
Even families that promptly report nursing home abuse or neglect cannot shorten the waiting time until they see relief. However, an experienced local lawyer often has the knowledge and resources that can help ease the stress. Individuals who turn to a skilled attorney can expect the following types of assistance:
• Incident reporting: Attorneys know the people and processes required to report these incidents, and they can often cut through red tape to accelerate the process.
• Advice: A lawyer can help families identify when they need to take immediate action to protect their loved ones, even before complaints can be resolved through normal channels.
• Resources: Attorneys can identify options to help families that need to find immediate alternative care, ranging from other facilities that can take seniors in on a temporary basis to helping find caregivers who can provide necessary care in the family home.
When a loved one is at risk, time is of the essence. Obtaining experienced legal support may be the best way to obtain quick and thorough results.
Elder Abuse Toolkit, Alabama Department of Senior Services
Other Blog topics:
Alabama Nursing Home Quality Weighed By ProPublica Tuscaloosa Nursing Home Neglect blog