Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Says Family Involvement Crucial to Safe Long Term Facility Care
Boston, MA (Law Firm Newswire) December 1, 2011 - Boston nursing home abuse attorney Bernard J. Hamill, of Hamill Law Offices, Boston Massachusetts notes that under the Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987, when a person is admitted to a nursing home, family members have the right to be involved with the care of their loved one to avoid nursing home neglect. This message is especially timely as November is national caregivers month.
Resident Needs and Wishes Come First!
It is important to remember the role of the family member is to always communicate to the nursing home staff your loved one's needs and preferences.
There are 3 key components for family to become involved.
The first is to participate in the resident assessment made at the beginning of each admission. The assessment is key to understanding what each resident needs to maintain physical, mental, and social function in a nursing home. An assessment involves: the resident, nursing staff, medical provider, social services, nutrition staff, and family members. Use the resident assessment to communicate your loved ones likes and dislikes and habits.
The second tool for involvement is the care plan. A care plan is a multidisciplinary treatment plan individualized for your loved one. Get a copy of it. Provide input. It is critical that the team have input from the resident and family members. Families should participate in all care planning conferences. Review the care plan periodically or whenever there is an issue involving care.
The third component for ensuring safe care is continued family involvement. There is really no substitute for this. It is much harder to hold the nursing facility responsible if you took no interest in your loved one’s care. Visits from family members are important tom the resident's emotional health and help ensure your loved one receives good care. The resident and family members have the right to decide what visits involve and when they take place. Plan your visits around what makes you and your loved one comfortable. Try to visit at varied times to see how they really care for your loved one. Family visits are how you get to know the staff. It is important to be familiar with staff members. Know their names and their roles. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs), RNs and LPNs, all give daily hands on care to your loved one. Meet them and discuss your resident’s needs with them.
If problems arise how can I address them effectively? Document and report problems to staff members as soon as they happen. If
that doesn’t work, report it to the director of nursing or administrator in writing. Contact your local ombudsman if the facility won’t help you. You can join a Family Council. Family councils have the right to meet without staff present unless one is invited to allow family members to voice concerns without reservations. Good care is not difficult to receive but you must be a consistent advocate to ensure the safety of your loved one in a nursing home setting.
About Hamill law nursing home injury lawyers:
The Hamill Firm of Quincy, Massachusetts concentrates their practice on advocating for elderly nursing home residents and has a successful track record of verdicts and settlements including some of the highest emotional distress verdicts ever awarded in Massachusetts for nursing home abuse. The Hamill group encourages all residents injured by neglect in Massachusetts nursing homes to call for a free evaluation of their claim.
Hamill Law Firm
36 Miller Stile Rd.
Quincy, MA 02169