It seems like they are taking poor care for my dad in t he nursing home. How can we enforce adequate care?

We put my grandfather into a nursing home, and while they seem to be doing OK with caring for him, we get the sense that they do the bare minimum. The staff never seems to encourage him to come to activities, or even to get dressed in the morning. He is supposed to be doing a rehabilitation program as part of the nursing home care, but they almost never make him do it if he says he doesn't’ feel like it. We’re frustrated because we put him in this home to help rehabilitate him after his stroke and to help improve his quality of life, and we don’t feel like they are helping. Is there anything we can do? Isn’t lack of interest in patients sort of a form of nursing home negligence, or no?

Answers (1)

While nursing homes are required to provide sufficient medical care to patients and, in some cases to provide them with the opportunity to engage in activities, generally nursing homes cannot force patients who are of sound mind to do things they don't want to do. Depending on the particulars of the situation and/or your grandfather’s mental state, it is possible that the nursing home may have had an obligation to notify the family that he was failing to do prescribed exercises and/or to encourage him to engage in rehabilitation. Your best course of action would be to explain the situation in detail to an attorney experienced in eldercare who can help you evaluate whether the nursing home’s failure rises to the level of nursing home negligence.

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