Federal law requires that nursing home caregivers document each patient's physical and mental condition and assess changes that might reasonably occur over time. The document, known as a care plan, addresses such issues as the patient’s ability to care for himself, ambulate unassisted and be aware of surroundings. The goal is to provide the highest quality care while protecting nursing home residents from nursing home abuse and neglect.
You and Your Loved One’s Care Plan
Nursing homes must comply with the Nursing Home Reform Act (OBRA 1987) to continue receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds. The Act outlines minimum nursing home standards for "services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident." The comprehensive care plan for each nursing home resident is a key component of achieving these goals.
Each care plan is created by physicians, nurses, dieticians, and others involved in patient care. You will have the opportunity to meet with these professionals to discuss your loved one’s needs. The care outlines specifics, including special care needed, how the care will be provided, and who will provide each type of care.
The resident's family members can be given the right to access the care plan and ensure caregivers follow the plan. Every nursing home resident is entitled to the highest quality care in a comfortable, safe setting.
When Caregivers Fail to Follow the Care Plan
A caregiver’s failure to follow a care plan may be an indication of abuse and negligence. Physical, emotional and sexual abuse, lack of proper care, medication errors and improper restraints are all forms of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Failing to follow the care plan may stem from improper supervision and inadequate training. Understaffing is also an issue that can lead to poor quality of care. Regardless, nursing home negligence is a serious issue that causes malnutrition, weight loss, bed sores, depression, bruised or broken bones, poor hygiene and, in some cases, even wrongful death.
If you suspect your loved one’s caregivers have failed to follow the care plan, you are within your rights to consult with an attorney to discuss the medical and legal ramifications of nursing home abuse and neglect. In Phoenix, Scottsdale, and all of Arizona, Cullan & Cullan includes lawyers who are also doctors.
Please contact Cullan & Cullan at (602) 786-8860 to schedule your no-cost confidential consultation.