Resolving Concerns through the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
The Long-term Care Ombudsman Program focuses on educating the community on issues effecting LTC residents. In January 2019, Eric Carlson through Justice in Aging, released the guide 25 Common Nursing Home Problems & How to Resolve Them. This guide compares common misinterpretations or practices with the clear statement of the relevant law. Each month, the Region P Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program will review a problem discussed in the guide. This month, we will look at the issue of providing necessary services.
Problem #4: Failing to Provide Necessary Services
WHAT YOU HEAR: THE FACTS:
“WE DON’T HAVE A NURSING HOME MUST PROVIDE
ENOUGH STAFF. YOU SHOULD HIRE ALL NECESSARY CARE.
YOUR OWN PRIVATE-DUTY AIDE.
Each nursing home must provide the care necessary for a resident to reach the highest practicable level of functioning. A nursing home violates that requirement by expecting or encouraging the hiring of private-duty aides to cover for the nursing home’s inadequacies.
WHAT TO DO TO ENSURE ALL NECESSARY SERVICES ARE PROVIDED
The resident or family member should make clear that the nursing home has the legal responsibility to provide necessary care, and that a claimed shortage of staff or money is no excuse. The specific request should be made in writing to the nursing home’s Grievance Official with supporting documentation, such as a doctor’s order, assessment or the resident’s care plan.
If the nursing home continues to deny necessary care, a complaint can be made to the state inspection agency (NC Division of Health Service Regulation, 1-800-624-3004). Other options include raising the issue at a resident or family council meeting, seeking assistance from the Ombudsman Program or consulting with an attorney.