What to do About Nursing Home Disputes
The choice to enter a nursing home can be incredibly difficult, not only for the
person who needs nursing home care, but also for the entire family. And
everyone’s stress and anxiety is compounded if there’s a problem after your
loved one has moved into the facility. Issues can arise over the quality of food, the
activities that are – or are not – offered to residents, the level of care provided, or
even problems with a roommate or other resident.
Here are some steps you can take to resolve a problem, should it arise:
Have a discussion with the appropriate staff member(s). Let them know
what the problem is, and discuss ways to resolve the problem. End the
discussion by going over the steps you’ve agreed will be taken to solve the
If a discussion with the staff is not effective, go up the chain of command.
Talk to a supervisor about the issue, and come up with a plan to resolve it.
If you can’t reach a resolution by working with staff and supervisors inside
the nursing home, your next option is to look for outside help. Here are
some sources you can look to:
1) You can go to the ombudsman who’s been assigned to your nursing
home, explain the problem, and ask him or her to step in. Sometimes
this type of outside intervention is what it takes to get results. You can
locate your ombudsman here.
2) You might want to consider using the services of a geriatric care
manager. These are professionals who help families find and monitor
long-term care arrangements for their loved ones. A geriatric care
manager can help serve as a liaison between you and the nursing home,
helping you understand which expectations are reasonable, and helping
the nursing home understand its duties to your loved one.
As a last resort, you might want to consider hiring an attorney to represent your
loved one’s interests. This is an option better reserved for situations where a
loved one’s rights have been violated, or where abuse has occurred. If
circumstances are bad enough to warrant hiring an attorney, you’ll also want to
consider moving your loved one to a different facility.
Of course, if your loved one is being abused, report the abuse immediately – you
can do so by calling the appropriate abuse hotline.
A final note: when you’re working to resolve a nursing home dispute, it’s
important that you keep good records every step of the way. This means writing
down the name and title of every person you speak to with regard to the dispute,
as well as taking notes on what you discuss.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Worcester MA of the Law Offices of James
A. Miller estate planning and business planning resources to residents of
Worcester MA. To learn more about these free resources, please visit