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What to Do When You Suspect Abuse in Your Parent's Retirement Home - AgingCare.com

What to Do When You Suspect Abuse in Your Parent's Retirement Home - AgingCare.com: What to Do If You Suspect Abuse in Your Parent's Retirement Home

I think most of us approach the idea of sharing the care of an elder with a lot of trepidation. We have cared for them with one-on-one loving attention. We know their history, their preferences, their tempers and their needs. Bringing others, no matter how experienced, into the equation is counter-intuitive.
, Expert
Author, speaker, columnist and eldercare consultant

  1. If
    possible, talk nicely with the CNA or hands-on person you think may
    need some direction. Talk kindly, and take some of the load off by
    saying, "Mom can be sensitive, and I know that. Is there a better way we
    can handle this?"
  2. If you don't get
    anywhere with that (all of this advice only applies if there isn't
    obvious abuse – if that is so, skip to the last step), talk with the
    floor supervisor, often a nurse.
  3. If
    that still doesn't get you a listening ear and some change – and if you
    are being realistic about your requests – then talk with the home
  4. If talking doesn't get you anywhere, write a letter and state the complaint and say that you will be contacting your state ombudsman.
    An ombudsman is an independent advocate who handles consumer complaints
    about government-regulated agencies. Since nursing homes are
    government-regulated agencies, they qualify. Assisted living centers may
    not, but it's worth a try. Then
    do so. You can go online to your state's website and look up aging
    services or you can go to the national site and find the National Long
    Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center at
    You will then type in the location of the home and you will find
    contact information. Carry through, and this person will investigate.
Don't ever be afraid to involve the ombudsman.