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What Happens When You File a Nursing Home Complaint?

Senior using cell phone

Many nursing homes provide expert care for their residents and don’t abuse or neglect any of the elders under their watch. However, not all facilities operate that way. Some have internal problems or staffing problems that lead to staff members neglecting patients. This is severely detrimental to your older family member’s health because they need around the clock care and attention.

When they’re neglected, they can develop serious injuries from falls, or bed sores from staying in one place for too long, and their hygiene can deteriorate. When you notice signs that your loved one is being neglected in their nursing home, you can file a complaint so that you can make the facility aware of what happened and give them the chance to correct the behavior.

How To File a Complaint

Before you can know what happens after filing a complaint, you should know how to properly file with the nursing home and the Minnesota Department of Health. The first place you need to file a complaint is with the facility that you suspect has been neglecting your elderly loved one. Depending on how they respond, or if you’re unhappy with the changes they make, you can choose to file through the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC).

You can either call the MAARC at 844-880-1574 or you can file through an online form. Both can be done 24 hours a day, although sometimes the site is down for maintenance so phoning in could be more direct in some cases.

According to the MAARC, if the neglect that your loved one suffered caused them physical injury or death, then you should also call 911 in order to get them help. The first concern should be getting your loved one the treatment they need and getting them to safety. Then you can work on filing the complaint to get the facility looked into.

There are additional resources you can reach out to for help when reporting abuse and neglect for your loved one. Whichever you choose, you can rest assured that they will handle the situation. Let’s take a look at how these agencies handle a complaint about neglect.

What Happens Next?

Once you file the complaint for neglect against your family member’s nursing home, the Department of Health will start the process to investigating your claim. Here are the steps that they will engage in, as listed by the state’s Office of Health Facility Complaints:

  • First, they’ll determine if they’re the proper entity to be investigating this claim. If not, they’ll refer it to the proper authority.
  • Inform the filer that the agency received the complaint.
  • They’ll send an investigator to drop by unannounced at the facility for a site visitation.
  • The investigator will take notes, talk to witnesses, and look at the nursing home’s records.
  • They decide if the complaint is substantiated, unsubstantiated, or inconclusive.
  • In order to be substantiated, 50 percent or more of the evidence must prove that the violation did occur.
  • The investigation report conclusions are shared with the filer.
  • A public report is posted on the Department of Health’s site.
  • If warranted, the results are shared with authorities, like the police, the Board of Medical Examiners, and the Board of Nursing.

Complaints could take a long time to be resolved. They could take days, weeks, or even months, depending on what happened and how long the investigation takes. The investigator and their agency will keep you as informed as they can throughout the process, and if you have further questions, you can always call the department for more information.

If the investigation turns up showing that your complaint was substantiated, you might be happy with that and follow through with a claim with the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer. However, if you’re unhappy with the results, you could file an appeal and have the department investigate it again.

Having an attorney on your side through the whole process can be beneficial and ensure your loved one’s rights are protected every step of the way.

Madia Law LLC Is Here to Help You

When you’re unsure of how to file a complaint when you suspect that your loved one is being neglected at their long-term care facility, you could use the help of a Minneapolis nursing home abuse lawyer to get you justice and guide you through the process. With the help of an attorney from Madia Law LLC, you can have peace of mind knowing we are here to help you through your claim.

Your elderly family member deserves to get justice for what happened to them. Let us help. Contact our office today so we can discuss exactly how we can support you through this confusing time.