Revealing Your Loved One’s Physician with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

May 10, 2024

Nursing homes are meant to provide a safe and supportive environment for elderly individuals who require assistance with their daily activities and medical care. However, instances of abuse and neglect in nursing homes can occur, leaving residents vulnerable and in need of legal help. When a loved one enters a nursing home, numerous concerns arise, including questions about their medical care. One common question is, “Who will be their doctor?”  Understanding who your loved one’s doctor is and how they are assigned in a nursing home is crucial to ensuring their well-being. In this comprehensive guide, Dudensing Law’s nursing home abuse lawyer will delve into the role of doctors in nursing homes and provide valuable insights on advocating for your loved one’s well-being. Stay strong, Dudensing Law is by your side to answer any of your questions and provide valuable legal insight.

Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Discusses the Role of Doctors in Nursing Homes

Contrary to what many may assume, a resident’s primary care physician typically doesn’t visit nursing homes and general nursing home policy is not to have patients transported to primary care provider offices for care. Nursing homes do not have a doctor on site at all times and the law only requires a doctor to visit one time per month after admission. Each resident is assigned a primary care physician within the facility. These doctors carry significant caseloads, overseeing numerous patients and conducting monthly rounds to address their medical needs with an occasional visit if a patient has a change of their normal condition.

Understanding the Assigned Doctor

The doctors assigned to nursing home residents are medical professionals responsible for managing their healthcare needs. However, unlike a family physician who may have an in-depth understanding of the patient’s medical history, these doctors often have limited knowledge of the resident’s background. This lack of familiarity can present challenges in providing personalized care.

Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Discusses Challenges in Communication Between Patients And Nursing Home Doctors

One of the primary obstacles families encounter is communicating with the assigned doctor. Unlike primary care physicians who may be easily accessible, nursing home doctors can be challenging to reach. This difficulty in communication can lead to frustration and uncertainty about the resident’s care, highlighting the importance of establishing open lines of communication early on.

Communicating with doctors in nursing homes can be challenging due to various factors. First, family members may not have direct access to the doctor and may need to go through nursing home staff to relay their concerns or ask questions. This indirect communication can lead to delays or miscommunication.

Additionally, emotional distress or cognitive decline in residents may make it difficult for them to effectively communicate their medical needs or concerns to the doctor. Family members may have to step in and act as advocates for their loved ones.

In some cases, nursing home doctors may not prioritize resident care or may dismiss family members’ concerns. This can create frustration and a sense of helplessness for family members who want to ensure their loved ones receive the best possible medical care.

Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Discusses Advocating for Your Loved One

As a family member, advocating for your loved one’s well-being is paramount. Here are some actionable steps that our nursing home neglect lawyer recommends:

Establish Communication: 

Regular communication with healthcare providers in the nursing home is essential to stay informed about your loved one’s medical care. Establish an open line of communication with the doctor assigned to your loved one.  Obtain the doctor’s contact information upon admission to the nursing home and make initial contact to introduce yourself and express your interest in being involved in your loved one’s care. Educate the physician on your loved one’s condition both past and present. Requesting access to their medical records and staying involved in their care can help ensure that they receive the standard of care they deserve.

Attend Care Conferences: 

Participate in care planning meetings often to stay informed about your loved one’s treatment plan and voice any concerns or preferences regarding their care.

Keep Detailed Records: 

Maintain a record of your loved one’s medical history, medications, and any changes in their condition. This information can be invaluable during discussions with healthcare providers.

Be Persistent: 

Advocacy often requires persistence. If you encounter challenges in communicating with the doctor or addressing concerns about your loved one’s care, continue to express your concerns until you are satisfied with the outcome.

Seek Legal Assistance:

Abuse and neglect in nursing homes is a heartbreaking reality. Be diligent in recognizing changes in your loved one that could be a result of abuse or neglect. In cases where concerns about abuse or neglect arise, seeking legal assistance from a nursing home abuse attorney may be necessary to protect your loved one’s rights and ensure they receive the quality care they deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should a doctor visit my loved one in the nursing home?

The frequency of doctor visits in a nursing home may vary depending on the resident’s needs and the facility’s policies. However, the law only requires a doctor to visit their patient once a month.

What are the signs that my loved one is not receiving proper medical care?

Signs that your loved one may not be receiving proper medical care in a nursing home can include unexplained injuries, untreated medical conditions, poor hygiene, sudden changes in health, or a lack of attention to their medical needs.

How can I ensure my loved one’s medical needs are being met in a nursing home?

To ensure your loved one’s medical needs are being met in a nursing home, maintain open lines of communication with healthcare providers, regularly visit your loved one, stay involved in their care, and address any concerns promptly.

What should I do if I cannot reach my loved one’s assigned doctor?

If you cannot reach your loved one’s assigned doctor in a nursing home, communicate your concerns to the nursing home administration and request an alternative means of addressing your loved one’s medical needs. Be persistent and stay strong.

Contact Dudensing Law Today for a Free Consultation

Navigating your loved one’s care in a nursing home can be complex, but by understanding the role of their doctor and advocating effectively, you can ensure they receive the best possible care. By establishing open communication, attending care meetings, keeping detailed records, being persistent in addressing concerns, and seeking legal assistance from a nursing home neglect attorney when needed, you can make a meaningful difference in your loved one’s well-being during their time in the nursing home. Contact Dudensing Law for additional information or to talk to one of our experienced nursing home neglect attorneys!

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