It is no secret that nursing home abuse and neglect is rampant across the United States. However, in certain circumstances some complaints relate more to the adjustment process rather than actual abuse or neglect. Understanding the difference and investigating thoroughly is paramount.
You should take the complaints of your parents seriously, of course, but due diligence is also important. According to the AARP, common complaints from new nursing home residents include roommate conflicts, food issues and lost items.
Roommates and food
Nursing homes can be very expensive, and if your budget is tight your parent may need to live with a roommate. If your parent used to live alone, it is natural for him or her to have a difficult time adjusting. Reputable nursing homes will do roommate swaps if at all possible, but discerning the difference between an actual roommate problem and simply adjusting to having a roommate can be difficult.
Food can also be an issue at nursing homes. Even if the food is completely nutritionally adequate, it is unlikely that it will be up to the standards of your discerning parent. Particularly if your parent prefers certain ethnic cuisines or spices, the food offered even at the best nursing homes may not totally please their palate.
If your parent is complaining that the staff of the nursing home is stealing from him or her, make sure first that the staff has not swept up the items in the laundry. It is a good idea to keep a running relationship with the aides that work at the nursing homes to check in with this.