Question: My mother is in a nursing facility. We have some concerns about her care and have talked to the staff here, but not gotten a satisfactory answer. Is there some other avenue we should explore for getting our concerns addressed?
Answer: It is always good to start with the nursing home staff. They would like the opportunity to address any concerns that you or your mother have regarding care. If you feel that you are at an impasse and the concerns are not being addressed, you have some options.
You could connect with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program through the State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care. Their brochure explains that an ombudsman’s role is to provide advocacy to long-term care customers aged 60 and older who either reside in a long-term care facility or who are enrolled in a long-term care funding program like IRIS or Family Care. The ombudsman investigates and resolves complaints about care and treatment, investigates resident rights violations, and investigates when there is a reduction or denial of requested services. The ombudsman can provide consultation services to help avoid problems or to solve problems before they become a crisis. A call to the ombudsman is kept confidential. You can connect with an ombudsman by calling 1-800-815-0015.
The other option is to file a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Divisions of Quality Assurance. Per their website, they are responsible for assuring the health, safety, and welfare of persons using health and community care provider services in Wisconsin. If you believe that the nursing home staff have violated any state or federal laws, you have the right to file a complaint. The complaint can encompass issues revolving around quality of care or quality of life including; abuse, neglect, lack of staffing, unsafe conditions, poor care, mistreatment, transfers, discharges, and caregiver misconduct.
You can find more information at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/guide/complaints. A complaint can be filed online through this site, or you can call 1-800-642-6552.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, call ADRC at (920) 448-4300 to speak to one of our specialists.