Many consumers fail to speak up about nursing home problems or to educate themselves on their rights, but there are ways of obtaining help.
National Senior Citizens Law Center. www.nsclc.org
To check details of recent state inspections of nursing homes, go to www.health.state.pa.us and search for "nursing care facility locator page."
To see how nursing homes stack up on 19 different quality measurements such as pressure sores and pain management, go to www.medicare.gov, click on "Compare Nursing Homes in Your Area."
To report complaints to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, call 1-800-254-5164.
To seek help with general nursing home problems, contact the Area Agency on Aging long-term care ombudsman. Area numbers include Allegheny County, 412-350-6905; Beaver, 724-847-2262; Butler, 724-282-3008; Fayette, 724-430-4855; Greene, 877-814-0788, ext. 543; Washington, 888-301-1836; Westmoreland, 724-837-3437.