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Filing a complaint about a nursing home in Arizona is a simple and effective way to make sure any sort of neglect or abuse is handled properly. However, it can also feel overwhelming knowing where to start or to even ensure your complaint is taken seriously.

We’ll help to answer some of the more common questions you might have about filing a complaint against a nursing home in Arizona as well as how you can keep updated on the progress and  what you’re entitled to throughout the process;

How to file a complaint about a nursing home in Arizona

If you or loved one are currently living in a nursing home in the state of Arizona and need to file a complaint, there are two ways in which you can log an official complaint. You can complete an online form on The Arizona Health Services Department’s website or call them directly on 1-602-364-2536

The law in Arizona makes it quick and easy to file a complaint against a residential nursing home with a state license, and you can do so anonymously with discretion, avoiding any kind of repercussion against you or your loved one, from the home you’re complaint involves.

If you’ve filed a complaint and want to find out if there are other active complaints against the same care provider, you can access all filed complaints using the AZ Care Check tool on the Arizona Health Service Department’s website.

This will provide a list of any active complaints as well as any that have previously been filed or resolved and may help with your own complaint, particularly if you need to build a case against the nursing home with an attorney.

Who will handle my complaint?

Once you have filed your complaint, the Department of Health Services will process and assign your complaint to one of their official advisors who will start work on your case. As your case is anonymous, you won’t be able to directly follow or track the complaint but you should be able to notice changes being made within the nursing home.

You may also notice more professional bodies present when you’re visiting your loved one, as the Department of Health Services will have deployed someone to check the facility.

Depending on the severity and the nature of the complaint, it is possible to see your complaint through without having legal representation, but this can often be a rather complex and lengthy process for anyone who is not familiar with the regulation laws in Arizona.

If you’ve filed a complaint and are considering hiring a lawyer, read our guide to recognizing when it may be necessary to hire an attorney. You’re probably already feeling the pressure and guilt that comes with raising any kind of serious complaint and having an attorney to help guide you through a hard time can really make a difference

If you’ve already hired an attorney to help with legal representation, your attorney and the advisor will then communicate between themselves, keeping you updated throughout the process. Having an attorney to represent you can really help with the emotional burden felt when dealing with abuse or neglect of a loved one.

Who regulates nursing homes in Arizona?

The Department Of Health Services in the state of Arizona, along with the Bureau of Residential Facilities Licensing, is responsible for licensing and regulating all types of residential care home settings including nursing homes.

Before a nursing home can open the owner will need to apply for a license to ensure their care home setting meets the minimum legal requirement and that any future staff meets the regulations that the state of Arizona insists they have.

The law in Arizona insists that every care home or assisted living setting has both a licensed administrator and a licensed manager on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In terms of the care staff and their qualifications, it is down to the administrators to ensure they have the right kind of experience and credentials before hiring them. Unfortunately, it is not a legal requirement that they have qualifications or hold an individual license for care work.

Day to day, it is the responsibility of the administrator and manager to regulate the number of residents within a care home setting. Keeping on top of other standards such as the level of care also falls under the responsibility of the manager and administrator of each care home.

Can I still visit my loved one if I’ve lodged a formal complaint against the home?

Yes, you have every right to carry on visiting your loved one in their nursing home, even if you’ve filed a complaint about the facility. All complaints filed with the ADHA are anonymous which means the home will not be able to trace back the complaint to your or your family.

The Department of Health Services will never share the name of the complainant with the nursing home, protecting you and your family member. This means you should have full confidence that the staff in the home will continue to treat you and your loved one with the same expected level of care.

We would always encourage you to carry on as normally as possible and keep visiting your family member and let your attorney handle the complaint in a professional manner.

How can I stop any further abuse or neglect happening?

We know how distressing it can be to feel helpless in a situation where you suspect neglect or abuse is at play but if you have filed a complaint, you have done the right thing and passed on responsibility to the right professional body.

Sadly, it can take a bit of time before a complaint can be properly investigated and if you feel someone is vulnerable, that can often feel like the longest time in the world.

We would always recommend continuing to visit as much as possible and keep some normality in your loved one’s daily life, minimizing their distress through this difficult time but also being a regular visitor will help prevent abuse from carrying on.

Being present will stop perpetrators from being able to carry on their behavior.

Make sure your loved one is well cared for when you are visiting them too and ensure the following;

  • that they’re comfortably dressed
  • have access to water, food, and medication if necessary,
  • are cared for whilst you’re there.

If you notice any marks or worry about physical abuse, keep managers informed at all times and if possible, ask to change the carers that are looking after your loved one. Being persistent with your requests will also send a clear message to the nursing home that you are going to continue pushing for change to stop anything else happening.

How long will it take for the ADHA to handle my complaint

It may take up anywhere between 3 months to a year to see progress with a complaint against a nursing home in Arizona, depending on a few factors including staff availability.

Don’t forget- lodging a complaint with the Arizona department of Health Services is anonymous so you will have to keep up with regular changes within the home to see progress.

If you’ve filed a complaint online, you will receive an automated acknowledgement but after that your complaint will remain anonymous so you won’t be able to keep up the case unless you notice changes within the home.

What will an investigation involve?

An investigation by The Arizona Department of Health Services into abuse in a nursing home will involve an assigned surveyor. They will be responsible for checking files, visiting the nursing home, interviewing staff members and generally observing behaviors within the home.

Remember, if you’ve filed a complaint and then happen to notice a professional body in the nursing home, they won’t know it was you who has raised concerns so don’t feel like you can’t continue visiting your loved one.

When it comes to filing an official complaint against a nursing home in Arizona, it is important to remember that the Department of Health Services will do everything in their power to handle your case professionally whilst protecting your identity at all times.

By making it quick and easy to file a complaint online, it safeguards the most vulnerable members of society, enabling people to flag issues within residential care. It may seem like they’re taking too long but there are several legal procedures they will need to put in place.

If you’ve filed a complaint without hiring legal representatives, it might be worth considering hiring an attorney to help handle your case and ensure your complaint is taken seriously but also help to offer guidance and advice throughout your case.

An attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse cases and complaints will not only reassure you and your family through a very difficult and emotionally distressing time but they will handle the sometimes complex legal issues that may arise.

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Our experienced attorneys offer comprehensive guidance on all personal injury matters by phone or video conference call.

Our team of lawyers work closely with their injury clients across Arizona, communicating clearly whilst offering reassurance and empathy through an often very difficult and emotional process. During the free consultation, our lawyers will discuss your concerns before creating a comprehensive plan for you, while also assessing the strength of your claim.

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