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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

A Fair Oaks Elder and Med-Cal Lawyer ‘s Take on Resolving Nursing Home Disputes

February 25, 2013

As an elder law attorney in Fair Oaks, my clients are often seeking advice on all kinds of topics, from putting together medical directives to paying for nursing care. One issue that is especially important for these clients is how to resolve disputes that come up when they are living in a nursing home. While it may not be necessary to get a Fair Oaks elder or Medi-Cal lawyer involved, it is nice to be armed with some facts and strategies when faced with this type of situation.

When there is a dispute or disagreement between a resident and the staff of the nursing home, it can become quite a bone of contention. These types of things usually impact the overall quality of the resident’s life, even if they seem small upon initial examination. For example, a resident may not be satisfied with the quality of food at her nursing home. While this can seem like a small complaint, imagine eating food you don’t like every day for the rest of your life. All of a sudden, it seems like a much bigger deal.

Of course, there are much bigger issues at stake, too. Elder law attorneys in Fair Oaks work to ensure that clients are receiving the level of care they need and that they are in an environment that is not only safe but also responsive to their personal needs and preferences.

Resolving a Dispute

There are some steps that a resident’s family can take in order to resolve a dispute, and each builds on the last. A Fair Oaks elder or Medi-Cal lawyer will usually recommend that you start with the simplest approach and escalate your involvement if and when it is necessary. Here are some typical steps to be taken in order to resolve the situation to everyone’s satisfaction:

  1. Start by talking politely with the staff to let them know that you have a concern and that you are looking for a solution to the problem
  2. If things haven’t improved, it is time to go to a supervisor.  Let them know that you are confident in their ability to right the situation.
  3. At this point, you may need to contact the Ombudsman Program to discuss the situation with the ombudsman assigned to that nursing home
  4. Report the issue to the state licensing agency
  5. Hire a third-party advocate or geriatric care manager
  6. Hire an elder care lawyer
  7. Choose a different nursing home

Hopefully, your dispute can be resolved easily within the first step or two, but if you feel that the issue is in violation of the resident’s rights, you may decide to continue up the ladder of action. While you may not want to bring a Fair Oaks elder care lawyer in too early on in the process, it’s not a bad idea to run the situation past a professional of this capacity when you realize that things are getting out of hand. The presence of the lawyer may be enough to get the dispute resolved, and if it isn’t, you have legal representation when needed.

Call The Chubb Law Firm today at (916) 241-9661 to review your goals and discuss your options.

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