Alliance for Better Long Term Care
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Addressing Problems in Facilities
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Addressing Problems in Facilities

Addressing problems in nursing homes and assisted living facilities

If you or a loved one move into a nursing home or assisted living facility, the environment changes, but not the right to make choices about daily life and activities. Living with others in a group situation creates the need to accommodate differences, but residents don't automatically give up basic rights.
Occasionally, quality of life goals are not met at the facility or system level, and problems must be addressed. Residents, families and others, such as the local long-term care ombudsman, can all be advocates for good care.
If problems arise, it may be necessary to take action to resolve concerns or problems, but this should always be based on what the resident desires. There are several different levels of intervention, and attempts to resolve problems may be informal or formal, inside or outside of the facilities.

Addressing problems early often resolves issues before they become major complaints or serious situations.

Tips for residents and their families in addressing resident rights issues

•    Tell the nursing home or assisted living facility staff of concerns as soon as possible.
      Follow up with the appropriate staff.

•    Be familiar with the admission agreement.
     The contractual obligations and responsibilities of both resident and the nursing home.
     Expect and insist that all required care and services be provided.

•    As a resident, stay involved with family and friends.
     Make them aware of your care and activities.
     When you have regular visitors, staff  know that others are interested and aware of care given (or not
     given).

•   Understand and utilize the care planning process.

     Fourteen days after admission, staff complete a comprehensive assessment of a resident's capacity. 
     Seven days later, staff develop a comprehensive care plan that includes measurable short-term and
     long-term objectives and a timetable to meet each resident's medical, nursing, mental and
     psychosocial needs as identified in the assessment.

•   Participate actively in the facility's resident council.
     Your family is encouraged to participate in the family council. The voice of many consumers may be
     heard more clearly than that of a single resident or family.

     The nursing home must:
         
    provide private space to meet;
        
    designate staff to assist and respond to written requests; and listen to the views and act upon
               grievances and recommendations affecting resident care and life.
        
   Expect staff to respond to council requests.

•  Consult your attending physician with any concerns about medical care.
    A physician directs the medical care of each resident. Every nursing home has a medical director who is
    responsible for implementation of resident care policies and coordination of medical care.

•   Support community involvement and interaction.
     You have the right to participate in activities in and out of the nursing home.
     If you need further assistance, contact the R.I. Ombudsman at 401-785-3340 or 1-888-351-0808.
     For detailed information about Residents rights, call 401-785-3340 or 1-888-351-0808.
     This information is also available in Spanish. You can also visit the resident rights page in this site.

The following links outline federal and state requirements to ensure quality of care and quality   of life for residents.

•    Federal Requirements for nursing facilities

•    State regulations for nursing facilities
   
•    State regulations for assisted living facilities.

•    State regulations for home care agencies



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