If you have concerns about the quality of the care your loved one is receiving in an assisted living facility, or if there is a specific issue that needs to be addressed, it is important that you take steps to resolve it. State regulations require that every assisted living program have a written complaint procedure. Ask for a copy.
The first step to reporting problems is attempting to handle problems on your own by contacting the facility manager. Be as specific as possible about the details of the problem. The manager should investigate and get back to you promptly.
Seeking Further Help
If you do not want to discuss the matter with the manager, or the manager was not successful in resolving the problem, you have several options:
- You may contact the Office of Health Care Quality of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at 410-402-8200 or toll free at 1-887-402-8221. You may also file a complaint electronically.
- You may call your local Long Term Care Ombudsman. In Baltimore County, call 410-887-4200. The Long Term Care Ombudsman's office investigates complaints about care in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
- If the problem is related to fees or the use of the resident's funds, it may be helpful to consult with an attorney. The Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland may be able to assist, if the resident meets their financial eligibility criteria. In Maryland, call Maryland Legal Aid at 410-296-6705; long-distance callers may dial 1-800-367-7563. If your relative is not eligible for the services of Legal Aid, they can refer you to other sources of legal assistance.
If you suspect that your older relative or another resident is being abused, neglected or financially exploited, call the Adult Services unit of the local Department Of Social Services to make an Adult Protective Services complaint. In Baltimore County, call 410-853-3000.
Become an effective advocate for your older relative by visiting often and familiarizing yourself with the routines of the facility. Get to know the staff, and help them to know your older relative by telling them about his or her background, interests and needs. Read about a Resident's Rights which state regulations require be posted in the facility.