The two most common long term care facilities that an elderly person may be residing in is nursing homes and assisted living facilities (“ALF”). We have all heard those stories of elderly people having issues with their nursing home or ALF. What can you do when despite your best efforts, the nursing home or ALF does not resolve those issues? Most people don’t know, but residents in nursing homes and ALFs are guaranteed certain rights by federal or state law or both.
The first line of defense that a resident should use is the Florida Long Term Care Ombudsman. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is a federally mandated program in which program staff train volunteers who work with staff to identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, residents of nursing homes and ALFs along with adult family-care homes and continuing care retirement communities. If you are having an issue with your nursing home or ALF, you may contact The Long Term Care Ombudsman office toll-free at 1.888. 831.0404 or by e-mail at LTCOPInformer@ elderaffairs.org (Website: https://ombuds man. elderaffairs.org).
The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is a great resource and is responsible for licensing of the state’s nursing homes and ALFs. AHCA is also a great resource to obtain information about nursing homes and ALFs when choosing a place. They can provide public information about long-term care facilities in Florida, including ownership, administration, number of beds, whether a facility accepts Medicaid, inspection reports, reports of deficiencies, and legal orders against the facility. These can be found through their website(www. floridahealthfinder.org) simply by searching for a particular facility or type of facility. Inspection reports can identify when or how facilities may have violated resident rights and if such violations have been corrected. AHCA will also investigate complaints against long-term care facilities. If a facility has violated a resident’s rights or violated the law related to a resident’s care, the resident or their representative can file a complaint with AHCA by calling 888.419. 3456 or by using the online reporting forms at HCF Complaint Form | AHCA – Health Care Facility Complaint Form (https://apps. ahca.myflorida.com/hcfc/).
Get Expert Advice
If you are having issues with a nursing home or Assisted Living Facility, Mara Law, P.A. would be happy to speak with you. Proudly offering our services in both Volusia and Flagler Counties, our law firm focuses on probate, family law, estate planning, guardianship, and Medicaid Long-term Care. Contact us today at 386.672.8081 to learn more about legal protections for you.