Everytime I visit my Uncle at the Nursing Home, his clothes always smell and he seems unclean. Is this legal?

When I visit my Uncle Jim at his nursing home every day after work, he’s rarely ever     wearing clean clothes and the room smells strongly of urine. Staff members never respond to my requests to provide him with added help. Who should I contact on his behalf?


Answers (1)

Ask the nursing home for the name of their Ombudsman, the individual who’s supposed       to take an active interest in every patient who needs help. Some of these people are volunteers while others are paid with state funds. If this person can’t help you or if your nursing home doesn’t currently have an Ombudsman, ask for the phone number of your state’s Department of Aging (or similarly titled agency). Be sure to also read the nursing home’s most recent state evaluation report to see if the problems you’re noticing are long-standing ones.

If your uncle is eligible for hospice care due to a terminal illness, try to obtain that care for so he can receive the added care those professionals can provide on a regular basis. Should your uncle’s care remain the same or worsen, you may want to review the state rankings of other nearby nursing homes to find a better one. An elder law attorney can also help you if you want to pursue any corrective legal measures. Our treatment of the elderly must remain a top national priority.

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