Study Urges Nursing Homes to Listen to Patients’ Family Members

A recent study by UK-based researchers indicates that the family members of skilled nursing facility residents may be the key to eliminating unnecessary hospital admissions. Their research, which was published in the Journal of clinical nursing, revealed that it is often the observations of family members that lead to an accurate assessment of a resident’s health. When family members were involved with their loved one to the extent that they could detect changes in the residents’ health conditions and inform facility staff about those changes, the facility could provide better care to residents. Furthermore, when facility staff listened to family members, the resident was more likely to avoid an unneeded hospital stay.

Family members are an integral part of a loved one’s long-term care plan, and long-term care facilities should use the valuable information that they can provide. With the advocacy and involvement of family members, staff members at skilled nursing facilities are better able to care for their residents. Family members may be more cognizant of subtle changes in a resident’s emotional or physical condition that might necessitate treatment or medication than a staff member who has known a resident for only a short period of time. By having this valuable information sooner rather than later, staff members can head off health problems before they become so serious as to require hospitalization. Residents also can receive quicker treatment of problems as they arise, which can lessen periods of pain or discomfort.

At Boller & Vaughan, we are all too familiar with the rampant abuse and neglect that often occurs in understaffed, underfunded, overcrowded nursing homes. We have investigated many allegations of abuse and neglect, including those that have resulted in serious injuries to elderly residents, thus giving rise to a claim for damages against the responsible person and facility. Allow us to look into the background of your situation, evaluate the many options that may be available to you, and help you decide what move to make next. Contact the Wisconsin nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Boller & Vaughan, and see what help we have to offer you.