Do I have rights to an incident report concerning my mother?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 23, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I am my mothers legal guardian in the state of Indiana. She has Alz. for 20 years and I go to her nursing home and feed her twice a day lunch and dinner. There was an incident on Sun. Aug 14th in which an investigation was done. Do I as her court appointed have the right to that report?


Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Yes, you should be able to get access to the report if the underlying incident might have affected your mother's health, safety or quality of life. And if you are being denied a look, it naturally rankles, and also likely raises your suspicions that the nursing home personnel handled the matter in a less than stellar way.

If you have not done so already, ask for a private meeting with the executive director of the nursing home, along with a complete explanation of what happened"”and put a time limit of a few days to avoid potential stalling.

If you don't get a satisfactory answer or the director seems uncooperative or unwilling to meet, consider contact the facility's ombudsman for help. Every nursing home is assigned an ombudsman to deal with issues of care and comfort raised by residents or their family members"”and that help is free. Contact information for the particular ombudsman office should be prominently posted at the nursing home"”or find it through the national organization at www.ltcombudsman.org.

If neither of these steps are successful, contact the nursing home's licensing authority, which you should be able to find by searching the name of the state and licensing and "skilled nursing facility."