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4 steps to take if you suspect nursing home neglect

Imagine helping your mother move into a nursing home in Phoenix. On the surface, everything seems fine. The staff are very friendly, the other residents that you have seen look to be satisfied and the facility seems to be in good condition overall. After a few months, you begin to notice some things that leave you feeling uneasy. The nursing home had an underlying rank smell. There never seems to be staff around when you come for a visit. Your mother has become more withdrawn and has even shown signs of depression.

Staff shortages, the smell of stale urine or other bodily fluids, and residents showing symptoms of depression or physical abuse are all signs that something is wrong in a nursing facility. Sometimes it is negligence, but in other cases, it might be physical abuse. Either way, your loved one may be in danger if you see these signs so it is important to know what to do to address the problem.

Talk to the CNA

If you suspect nursing home abuse or negligence, the first thing you should do is talk with the certified nursing assistant (CNA) or someone else who has hands-on care of your loved one. Be kind and respectful and suggest ways that your loved might receive better care for his or her specific needs.

Talk with a supervisor

If talking to the staff or CNA does not get you anywhere, then you should speak with a supervisor. Discuss your concerns and try to work out the best ways to remedy the situation.

Talk to the administration

If the supervisor or other staff do not adhere to your request, assuming it is reasonable, then it is time to speak with the nursing home administration. The administration staff is usually in the best position to deal with staff members who refuse to provide proper care.

Involve the state ombudsman

An ombudsman is there to act as an advocate on behalf of nursing home residents who are not receiving the care they need and that the nursing facility should provide as the state mandates. The ombudsman can contact the facility and investigate your complaint.

While the above steps can help if you are dealing with mild neglect, you may have to take more serious actions for abuse or physicals injuries that result from neglect. You may even be able to take legal action against the nursing facility for any damages your loved one suffered.

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