*The reader decides what is good in each individual case. If any suggestion or advice is not helpful in your case, the authors suggest that you do not use it. Each case is individual; each case is different. Be your own judge of what is good in your particular case.
WOW! So you have a complaint! So, you have a serious complaint! What do you do? How do you pile through all the red tape of dealing with nursing homes and physical rehabilitation centers? Have you been given the run-around by a physical rehabilitation center or nursing home. Do they ignore your questions or requests? Does it seem like you are invisible to them? Have you made legitimate requests and been ignored at every turn? Does it "seem" like the corporate persons or people in charge or the licensed social workers are taking advantage of the situation?
Is the center or nursing home ignoring bedsores that were acquired right there in the center or nursing home. Those are questions to ask yourself when you feel like you are getting the run-around when dealing with health or financial issues in relation to physical rehabilitation centers and nursing homes in this world.And there are more questions; you probably can think of hundreds of questions yourself. How about these questions? Do they wait days or even weeks before the patient or resident is given proper care? Does it "appear" that the physical rehabilitation center or nursing home is doing "more bad than good"? And are they covering this up with avoidance or fabrication? Do these sound like the same complaints that you have about a particular rehabilitation center or nursing home? If they do sound similar or the same, your first steps in protecting the patient, resident and family can be found here in this self-help article.
Have you caught the place in outright lies? What has been your experience in dealing with physical rehabilitation center s and nursing homes? Everyone has a different experience. And while some might have a good experience, there e are possibly dozens or hundreds of others who are having bad experiences or terrible experiences inside physical rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.So, what is your experience? And If you have a bad experience, how do you handle it; How d o you react and how do you act in order to benefit the patient or resident inside the home?
First, build a solid base of honesty, and if there is no honesty inside the nursing home or rehabilitation center, if there is no honesty coming from the staff or supervisors, then build a case for proving their dishonesty. Once you have seen that staff or supervisors or administrators have lied about circumstances, and then you need to protect yourself from happening that happen again.For example, if the rehabilitation staff is claiming that something happened or is happening and you know for a fact that this is not true, then any future contact that you have with them might end up the same way. So how do you protect yourself under these circumstances?
Put It In Writing!
WRITING! Yes, a simple thing like writing changes all perspectives of a particular situation. Writing can bring a situation around to having more honesty, to having the staff and social workers and administrators "become" more honest. Once they see that something is in "writing" --in "print", they might think twice about compromising their honesty and integrity. So, if anyone at any of those places has lied or fabricated, made up a story or ignored any of your verbal requests, it would be just common sense to have future dealings with them in "writing".
Once a physical rehabilitation center has lied or misconstrued something or ignored your serious verbal complaints, it might be time to hit the typewriters and computers and compose a letter -IN WRITING-- to the administrators or supervisors that are responsible in the corporate setting. If you have serious complaints and your complaints are being ignored, it might be the time that you put your serious complaints in writing and it might be the time to send such complaints by certified mail or by express mail or by priority mail.What? What if you cannot afford these types of mail services? Have no fear! You can properly complain in writing and still have proof that you sent your letter -by asking the post office for a "certificate of mail". This is a small white receipt that is postmarked by the Postal worker, and then your letter is "on record" for being mailed at the US Post Office. This service is under two dollars per letter. (It might be under one dollar and fifty cents; check with your local post office). ALWAYS put your complaints in writing once your verbal complaints have been ignored or once stories have been fabricated by any staff or personnel at any physical rehabilitation centers or nursing homes.
Staff who are honest and personnel who are honest will not resent or be bothered by any complaints that are put in writing. It is only dishonest staff and dishonest personnel and dishonest licensed workers at physical rehabilitation centers and nursing homes that would be upset about any complaint put in writing. If staff is honest, they will respond professionally; if they are dishonest, they will dig their own hole deeper. Be forewarned that the battle gets tougher and the steps get deeper once you decide to register your formal complaints, so it might help you to have a few others on your side.
Keep a Journal.
Begin a journal book and record EVERYTHING that happens -time, date, place, day, occurrence and the person's involved. KNOW that this corporate place is doing that so, you get on board and keep your own records, your own journal book/diary, regarding all issues and applicable communications, calls, visits. This is vitally important for your own protection from unscrupulous rehabilitation centers and nursing home
Keep records and copies.
Make a record of every phone call and every conversation, topic, date, time, day, and topic of conversation with details -every time you speak with someone regarding the rehabilitation center or nursing home. Some individuals make tape recordings of their phone calls. As long as "you" speak during that conversation, and you are "present" in that conversation, then this is not "eavesdropping" but simply a recorded conversation
Document everything that is done, everything that is said, everything that is not done and not said, to have accurate records of what is happening. Your documentation can mean the difference between success and failure, so document NOW- even before you have need to document things.
Have Everyone Join In and Check licenses:
Bring your entire family into the picture. Instead of one person doing all the work and making the complaints, ask all the family members who are available to help out and file their own complaints, either with the corporate place or with outside complaint agencies. The more participants the better. Consider, that's consider, reporting any unscrupulous "licensed" individuals to the appropriate "licensing" bureaus. In some states the places that give licenses is the Department of Education, in other states, it is another department.
Research online and be persistent:
Go online and do a search of any and all organizations that are there to help you with complaints against physical rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. Do a thorough search and you will come up with, maybe, more help than you need.Be persistent in your complaint. KNOW that so many others have been successful in battling bad nursing homes. Check out the article about a Southern California lawyer who successfully is getting settlements of more than a few million dollars from unscrupulous nursing homes who "lied about the quality of care inside the nursing home. Now, nursing homes are going to be more careful about what they "advertise" because if they do not produce what they advertise, they just might end up in some million dollar lawsuits -against them. One nursing home that has recently settled because it decided that it was better to settle than to go through a lawsuit for false advertising. It's tempting to give up when a large corporation is battling against you, especially when they are battling with illegal or unscrupulous tactics, but always have hope. Always know that all throughout history, eventually good conquered evil. Even when things looked worse in history and in life, good always survives and the truth always comes out. So have hope knowing that you are in good company and you will prevail with your honest reports to the appropriate places.
Stay connected to win!
You cannot underestimate the power of being connected. Talk with everyone you know, everyone you trust about the situation but without mentioning names. Ask for any and all help that you can get in fighting the red tape, the fabrication, the lies, and the unscrupulous dealings of any happenings inside of bad nursing homes and bad physical rehabilitation centers. If you are staying in a nursing home for rehabilitation, ask everyone you know if they know about your particular residence. Always listen to your gut instinct, no matter what anyone says. You can do whatever you set out to do, just make sure that you always listen to yourself.
Now, gather your evidence.
Gather the rest of your evidence. Who would think that nursing home advertisements would be helpful in bringing down a nursing home which is giving inadequate care or bad care? Well, think again. Read the news articles, and go at once to gather any and all of the advertising that any offending nursing home or any offending rehabilitation care center is giving out. Do you have a brochure? Look in your newspapers, where local places advertise. Tear out and save any and all advertisements that those places offer. Buy the newspaper or get the newspaper at your library and read about all the things that these care centers "offer" to their patients and residents. SAVE EVERYTHING! If a nursing home or care center is offering a certain kind of care, certain kinds of rooms or certain kinds of services ONLY in advertising but not in reality, then perhaps that particular corporation can be brought to law to be accountable for all of its false advertising. Be persistent. Study , research, and keep your research and keep your evidence. Then and if you decide to sue, you will have enough physical evidence to present to your lawyer. You just might win your case.
Value trust and guard it.
Forget trust? Wow. How can we say such a thing and be serious? Here's how. If you are dealing with a rehabilitation center or nursing home and some or any of the staff has already fabricated stories, withheld or lied or ignored your legitimate requests perhaps this is time that you should remember that these people should not and cannot be trusted. Why? Well, if they lied to you once, what stops them from fibbing to you or withholding vital information from you twice or three times or even all the time? If they have already thrown your trust in the garbage, how do you get that trust back and protect yourself? Usually, once staff lies to you, you can ALMOST be sure that they will lie again. After all, how do they cover up their first lie? They can only do that by either apologizing for their first lie - which won't happen- or by continuing to lie to you again and again. So, if this applies to you, the "forget trust". We are not claiming that everyone inside a nursing home lies; what we are stating is that sometimes "SOME" staff at some nursing homes cover up the truth simply because they are afraid of losing their jobs. After all, if a nursing home lets someone wait for hours and hours to go to the bathroom and if a staff member complains about this -what happens to that staff person? So when bad things happen inside of good or inside of bad nursing homes, the staff is pressured to cover up the lacks and to cover up the bad things that are happening --under the pressure of losing their jobs if they speak out.
Remember the eight nurses who walked out.
Look at what happened to those eight nurses who walked off the job due to bad conditions. That was in the news. EIght - not one, but eight nurses walked off in unity, yet even they had the tables turned on them. So, good employees are pressured to be silent and this makes the nursing homes and rehab centers worse than they should be.
If you are a nurse or social worker or supervisor in a rehab or nursing home, you need to SPEAK OUT against the bad practices that are happening inside these places. With your help, society will be successful in changing things for the better. (If you are afraid to speak out because you might lose your job, speak out to us. We will keep your confidentiality, and through a unity, YOU can help save lives. You can help give better care.
Complain to Agencies.
About complaining: Do your complaining (to other agencies and departments regarding these issues) in writing. It's tempting to get on the telephone and complain verbally because that is easy, however, only the true complaint prevails if you put things in writing. You put things in your own words-not in the words of the person taking the complaint.
Be Knowledgeable and consider suing.
Realize! Yes, realize what really happens once you initiate a complaint. First know whom you are speaking to if you complain by phone Know that most or some agencies are staffed by volunteers and even some are sympathetic to the corporations that you might be complaining about. (So consider suing if you have a good case). Complain to the agencies that issue licenses -whether the person you are complaining about is a doctor, nurse, home health aide, or social worker, complain to the proper parties. Ombudsman complaints are, well, okay, maybe, but sometimes even these ombudsmen are volunteers and sometimes you might get one who is not "impartial". However, when you complain to a licensing agency, they must check into every allegation, so much more than an ombudsman can and or will. Thinking about suing? Well, half of the work is done for you if you have followed the proper steps and taken the proper records. Your journal can probably be used in court to help your case. (Only your lawyer would know this). Persist! Don't let anything negative that the "red-tape builders" say to you; discourage you from being persistent in your honest reporting to the proper agencies and possibly lawyers also.
YES, build yourself up; strengthen your position and protect your family members and patients and residents by using the best resources that are available to you both in print and online. We make some recommendations about helpful books and helpful resources tools that you might be able to locate online or in your home town. Why not check out Mark Green's publications, such as THE CONSUMER BIBLE, or other consumer books by Mark Green.
Never "threaten" to sue, just do it
Locate a lawyer.
Finally? Finally, if nothing else helps the case and you are still getting nowhere and the corporate and staff are still fibbing, fabricating, or withholding vital information, seriously considering suing the place. Yes, a lawsuit might be quite appropriate in some cases. In no matter what state you live in, there are usually competent lawyers who will take your case without taking any upfront money from you. (Check with friends and relatives who may have used lawyers or check the yellow pages).
Search the net.
Know the net. Be aware of how the net works and be aware of how advertisements pop up on the net and what they mean and what they stand for. For example, you are now reading an article about rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. So, the way the net works is this - you might look to the side there and see many advertisements for nursing homes or rehabilitation centers. KNOW that this does not mean that this article is about those and this does not mean that we recommend any of those places. The way the advertisements get there is purely random. Somewhere in the net, the words "rehabilitation center" and "lawyer" and "nursing home" are picked up by the net and the advertisements are almost automatically generated. So know that we have no affiliation or recommendation of any persons or companies that are mentioned on this web page or in this website. In fact, we have no way of knowing which or if any of these corporations will appear on the same web page that our article is on. So beware and do your own "checking" when it comes to businesses.
Believe in yourself.
Believe in yourself and in your own inner instinct. Know that most staff or personnel that are connected with the physical rehabilitation centers and nursing homes probably would advise you not to put anything in writing. Why? Once you put your complaint in writing, they actually have to DO something about it, instead of being able to ignore your complaint the way they might be able to ignore a verbal complaint. So by putting your complaint in writing you make them accountable; you make "more work" for them, and you protect yourself and your family member. So, if you want to protect yourself and your family members, it would seem that it makes sense to put things in writing. (After all, what's more valuable, a verbal contract or a written contract? Correct!)
Always stay connected.
Connect! Yes, yes, yes, connect! Connection is a tool that has helped people throughout centuries throughout the world. You have seen evidence of this yourself. Don't "unions" get more benefits for employees? Aren't union members usually more protected than those that are non-union? Well, that's the connection theory at work. The more people you have on your side, the better protection that you have. So, if you can be connected with others that have the same problem as you have, that is protection for you and protection for them. SO, connect! I f you are seeking connection with others who are complaining about rehabilitation centers and nursing homes write to us and we will do our best to put you in touch with others having the same problems. ALL through history the ones who are and were the most successful are those who enlist the help of others and the ones who have a group behind them. That is why or how many unscrupulous rehabilitation centers and nursing homes get the upper hand, because there is more "staff" than "you". Once you join with others that are when you might begin to be successful in your journey towards truth, honesty, and integrity in rehabilitation centers and in nursing homes. Connect with us and join our worldwide project that will put the spotlight on nursing homes and physical rehabilitation and care centers across the world, and more specifically ones right in your own neighborhood. You can make this happen. Join us by emailing us with your facts, research, photos and your true story. Include a confidentiality statement with your work and you can be in consideration for joining our worldwide project.
Ahh, there are skeptics reading. Yes, we hear you. You are reading thinking that there are great nursing homes out there and there are wonderful people working there too. There are many giving wonderful and great service. YES! That statement is true, but in reality, the better truth is that there are probably MORE unscrupulous, offending, and damaging rehabilitation centers and nursing homes out there, throughout the country and throughout the world than there are good ones. If you doubt this statement, just do this, use the "Google" tool and set up Google alerts on your email account.
Put the words nursing homes or nursing home in there. You will probably get HUNDREDS of emails -Google alerts - in your box daily, about the negligent and malpractice nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. You will get emails about staff committing crimes, staff being negligent and emails about people dying all over the country of unnecessary deaths. Just check out a few of those Google alerts and see what happens. Yes, Virginia, there are good nursing homes in the world, but this article is about the bad ones. That's the difference. Our purpose in writing this article is to bring world attention to the deficiencies and the malpractices and the negligence's and the crimes being committed inside of unscrupulous rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.
Why rehabilitation centers? You've asked why we use this term, and we have the answer for you here. For many, many years, there have been so many deficiencies in some nursing homes that the term "nursing home" leaves a bad taste in the world's mouth. Lately, we have come to connect the word nursing home with something bad -due to all the bad publicity that has been in the news and on television. So, what's the solution when a nursing home wants to advertise yet doesn't want that bad connotation to its name? Well, name it something else. Most all nursing homes have always had a floor or two for "rehabilitation" for many years. But now, some have changed their names so as to exclude themselves from the 'bad news' that might generate from searches about "nursing homes'. So, throughout our country, and throughout the world, "rehabilitation centers" are popping up all over, trying to not be classified as "nursing homes' in an effort to divorce them from any and all bad publicity. There actually are legal definitions of nursing homes and physical rehabilitation centers for the purpose of Medicaid and other agencies. The definitions have to do with how long people stay in a facility.
For example, if a place names themselves a "rehabilitation center" instead of a nursing home, then when people Google "nursing homes" their place might not come up in the search -even if there is bad news about the place. So, don't be fooled by name changes of places. (There is an actual legal clarification and definition between "nursing homes" and "rehabilitation centers" and you can find that online in one of the government sites). Google both names and read them all. These are terms you can Google to get news: "nursing homes, nursing home, rehabilitation center, rehabilitation and care centers, care centers, long-term care centers, aging, and things like that. But to begin with Google nursing homes and rehabilitation centers -two separate terms.
THE GOOD ONES: Yes, we acknowledge there are many helpful, good and law-abiding nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. This article is about the opposite. This article is written about the bad ones, the unscrupulous ones and the ones that violate personal and civil rights of human beings.
I f you are in a good one, we are happy for you. If you have a family member in a good one, we are happy for you, and we still ask you to JOIN US, yes join us, in stopping the corruption or the lack of care and non-care in the bad facilities. Join us and together , nursing home service will improve.
WRITE TO US:
(If you have a good comment about nursing homes and you do not understand this article, you are welcome to write to us also). We write, these articles regarding nursing homes and physical rehabilitation centers in an effort to band together with others who have been bound by red-tape, the run-around, and by unscrupulous nursing homes and physical rehabilitation care centers. We hope that you spread the word, and ask others to join us as soon as possible. TOGETHER, we can make progress; together we can be successful in making all nursing homes and all physical rehabilitation centers --better, and healthy for all of our people.
Footnotes below this line
By "dig their own hole deeper", we mean that if staff has already been dishonest, once approached in writing, they probably will continue to lie or fabricate or ignore your requests. Either way, you go on record with all your communications. That is your protection against future fabrications by staff.
This article, for the most part, is concerning dishonest staff at rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. When we advise "steps ", suggestions or advice, it is for the offending places and personnel. We do realize and recognize that there are "some" nursing homes that offer good service.
When recording on answering machines, sometimes a "timed beep" is necessary; check with your local statutes or check with your lawyer for details. Do an online search for help in that area.
If a licensed social worker or a licensed doctor has been unscrupulous or if they have been allegedly guilty of malpractice or negligence, you might want to consider seriously complaining to the licensing agencies about this. Pull up a good search engine on your computer and put in a search for "department of education licensing division" or "licensing agencies" . Keep searching until you find what you you are looking for.
While there are some centers that do "just' rehabilitation and or therapy, the places that we are speaking of are the centers that used to be nursing homes and those that have just changed their names to cover themselves up. The places we speak of are those that have nursing home ability or capacity -have people "living" there as permanent and temporary residentsWe strongly suggest putting your complaints into a type-written or computer-composed letter instead of verbally complaining to agencies.
If you think you have good cases, go right to a lawyer and ask for the free consultation. MOST lawyers have free consultations. You can even have a free consultation on the phone sometimes. Check the net and yellow pages.
Our Recommendations: If you would like our own recommendations (not a scientific study but our own personal recommendations). We can offer a list of homes and rehab centers that we approve of and offer a list of nursing homes and centers that we would never recommend. This list is only our opinion. But you are entitled to our opinion, so feel free to write to us. Contact us through the email section of this articles website. We do not work or volunteer in any nursing homes or rehab centers, but we have visited at great length in some and have shorter visits in others. A visitor's opinions are valuable when choosing nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, so feel free to write to us.
CLUE: People are under the mistaken impression that if a center is not on the LIST of worst nursing homes, then the center is good. WRONG! We have discovered that one of the worst nursing homes around is not on the LIST of the worst homes. They use illegal tactics, hide things and cover up their errors to stay off the "worst " list. So far they have been able to do that. But now, consumers, residents and families are making their own LIST of worst nursing homes and rehabilitation and care centers. Wouldn't you lik e to see the list that residents and families made?
I know for a fact that there is at least ONE rehabilitation and care center that is one of the worst going, yet this place is not on the government' s WORST list. So be careful when viewing the homes. Ask to see the ENTIRE home, all floors of the nursing home , before making a decision.
Updated May 2008