If you are moving a loved one into a nursing home, you may be experiencing a lot of anxiety. You may be worried about their health and well-being. You want to make sure that they are cared for. You probably are losing sleep about whether they will be happy. You may also, unfortunately, be getting some grief from them. If so, you are likely wondering how to handling nursing home resident complaints.
During the transition into a nursing home, your loved one may have some negative things to say. These comments can be hard, but don’t take them as an indication of whether you did the right thing. Instead, take any negative feedback that you receive as an opportunity to improve their care.
Tips for Addressing Nursing Home Resident Complaints
Don’t dismiss their comments. Even if a complaint seems off the wall, ignoring your loved one can make things worse.
Negativity may simply be a way to get your attention. Listening respectfully may be all that they need.
Try not to prejudge the truth of the complaint. Strange things have been known to happen in nursing homes. Pay particular attention to verbal cues, body language, facial expressions, posture, and gestures. All can help you determine the seriousness of negative comments.
Unhappiness with the situation or their care may not always discussed. Some people internalize their complaints and end up suffering from depression, anxiety, hostility, withdrawal or unresponsiveness.
Always respond to negative comments, whether they are legitimate or not. Actively listen. Ask questions and make comments to show you are paying attention. Try not to be condescending or dismissive. Respond with facial expressions and try to use compassion.
If you do feel a complaint could be warranted, bring it up with the staff. More serious complaints should be taken up with the facility’s administration.
Failing to address concerns allows them to get bigger. The staff will want to hear your concerns.
- Follow Up
Let your relative know that their complaints are being addressed. Follow up on their concerns and give them a status update.
Although alerting the staff is the first place to lodge complaints, make sure that complaints get the attention they deserve. Talk with your loved one’s doctor if their claim is medical in nature. Also, more serious complaints may need to be taken to the Department of Disability and Aging Services.
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect, Chelsie King Garza can help.