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Family Members Have the Right to Be Involved in Care Planning



Research supports that family involvement during a nursing home stay is likely to ensure that the facility is providing the quality care necessary for residents to thrive. Our nursing home attorneys agree that this couldn’t reign any truer as it is typically family members who are speaking up for the care their loved one is receiving and they are also the ones bringing neglect or malpractice concerns to our firm. That is why it is so important family members know of their specific legal rights to participate in nursing home issues, especially those related to their loved one’s care. In fact, family members do not need special legal authority to exercise the right to participate in assessments and developing meaningful and effective care planning.


What is Involved in Care Planning?
If you are the family member tasked with ensuring your loved one’s care is being appropriately planned and handled, it should start with their initial health assessment on the day of admission. The assessment information along with a care meeting with family members, staff, and medical professionals will be used to develop a plan that will serve as a guide to discuss the resident’s needs and progress. The nursing home must work with you to develop this individualized, written care plan and must update it every 90 days and any time the resident’s condition changes. The care plan will be used to help a resident on a daily basis and clarifies what each staff person will do and when they will do it. It may also include information such as what kind of equipment or supplies are needed, dietary restrictions, what type of staff should be in charge of each of the services and how often they will be needed.


Updates to Baseline Care Planning
In recent years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented basic requirements for participation that must be met by nursing homes in order to receive funding. In late 2017, additional guidelines from the group went into effect in regard to baseline care plans. CMS changes now say that, “the baseline care plan should strike a balance between conditions and risks affecting the resident’s health and safety, and what is important to him or her, within the limitations of the plan’s timeframe.”

At a time when nursing home neglect occurrences remain at an all-time high across the U.S., including here in Illinois, these changes will hopefully improve care for the more than 1.5 million Americans who reside in a nursing home but not without family members serving as the voices of their loved ones.


Respected Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys
Levin & Perconti has become one of the most widely-known and respected nursing home abuse and neglect law firms in Illinois, achieving multiple million dollar verdicts and settlements. If your loved one is not received the services outlined in their care plan and it is causing them stress, physical or mental harm, or sickness at a nursing home, we want to hear about it.

There is a time limit to file a case in Illinois, so please contact us now for a free consultation with one of our skilled nursing home attorneys.