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Advocate for Your Loved One in a Nursing Home Family Council

August 23, 2022
Author: Martin J. Solomon
nursing home family council. Elderly couple meets with relatives outside.

When your loved one is in a nursing home, there are many ways to still be involved in their day-to-day life. Research shows that family involvement during a nursing home stay can help improve quality of care. One way to be involved is to join or start a nursing home family council.

What is a nursing home family council?

To help prevent nursing home abuse and neglect, in 1987 Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act. This act guarantees the families of nursing home residents the right to form, organize, and hold private meetings as a group called a family council. Joining or creating a family council at your loved one’s nursing home is a great way to advocate for quality care.

According to the law, the nursing home facility is required to provide a meeting space and a designated staff person to be a liaison between the family council group and the facility. During the group meetings, family council members have the right to voice any concerns or suggestions about nursing home resident care and present their concerns to nursing home staff to act upon.

Per the law, the nursing home is required to listen to the family council’s issues and address them. In addition, family councils are legally allowed to meet without nursing home staff present to help members feel comfortable discussing important issues.

Some benefits of a nursing home family council include:

To find out if your loved one’s nursing home has a family council, ask the home’s administrator or a lead staff member.

How to start a family council

If your loved one’s nursing home does not have a family council, we highly recommend that you start one. Here are some tips on how to get going:

This information will help you get started organizing a nursing home family council to help improve your loved one’s care and reduce the risk of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you do suspect nursing home abuse and neglect, reach out to Solomon & Relihan for a free consultation to talk about your loved one’s care.

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