Making the decision to put your parent in a nursing home can be a difficult time, especially when you do not have any control over what happens within the home after you leave. Even with well-managed homes, employees leave and new management steps in, which can change everything for the worse.

To ensure your parent’s well-being, visit and speak with them often and look for signs of neglect such as:

  • Bedsores
  • Poor hygiene
  • Weight loss
  • Unmet medical needs
  • Depression
  • Arguments between your parent and caregivers

Reported neglect

If you have already noticed unusual behavior or declining physical condition, there are a few ways you can report the situation. Speaking with an experienced lawyer, especially if you think someone should resolve the situation as soon as possible, can expedite the process and prevent further neglect.

  • Submit a complaint online: The New York State Department of Health provides a Nursing Home Complaint Form for neglect and abuse
  • Call the Nursing Home Complaint hotline: This is also provided by the Department of Health and is open during business hours Monday through Friday; 1-888-201-4563

Nursing home staff are also asked to report incidents that residents report, with the Incident Reporting Form through the New York Health Commerce System. Be aware that complaints are confidential and can remain anonymous. If you include your contact information with your complaint, the Intake Unit can send you information about how it will handle the situation.

Complaint investigations

After you have submitted a complaint, the Department of Health determines how to proceed. The agency may send investigators to conduct interviews with staff and other residents. They may also go through medical records and visit the home. The Complaint Resolution Unit will also contact the home to collect medical and facility records and other necessary documentation.

In the case the Department of Health discovers a violation of federal or state regulations, it will give the nursing home a citation. The home must then develop and submit a plan of action, and then complete the plan to correct its mistakes.