Is There Family Involvement in Nursing Home Care?  

If you have a loved one living in a nursing home facility, you are thinking if you can get you and the rest of your family involved in the care your relatives receive inside the nursing home.

To not leave you wondering, we will give you an overview of how you can involve the rest of your family when it comes to the care of your relatives in nursing home care receive.

What is a nursing home?

To start, nursing homes provide the highest level of care older adults need that cannot or not ideal to be continued inside a hospital setting. These care homes provide “custodial care.” Custodial care is non-medical care provided to individuals that need assistance with basic daily activities such as getting in and out of bed, eating, and taking a bath.

Custodial care is recommended by authorized medical personnel. However, custodial care is not required to be provided by medical professionals. People in nursing homes have certain medical, physical, and mental conditions that make them unable to perform activities they need for daily living.


Nursing homes are different from other senior living facilities because they have the equipment and manpower to provide specialized levels of medical care for their residents. Nursing homes have licensed physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals in-house supervising the residents 24 hours a day

Are families involved in putting their relatives in a nursing home?

In deciding whether to put a relative under nursing home care or not, the whole family is involved — including the potential nursing home resident. In deciding about the said matter, the consent of the person in question is required. No family member, no matter the relation, is allowed to legally put another unwilling family member inside a nursing home, or any senior or care facility for that matter.

However, to be able to legally put someone unwilling to move to a long-term care facility, the family member who is deciding to have the person move to a care facility should obtain conservatorship rights of that person.

A conservatorship is a court-ruled appointment of another person to manage an incapacitated person or minor’s financial and personal affairs. The appointed guardian has the right to oversee the finances, physical care, and living arrangements of the person under conservatorship.

Additionally, under the Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987, the family of a person admitted to a nursing home has the right to be involved with the care their loved ones received. This can be overridden by the resident’s desire not to have their own family involved in their care.

Family members are involved in resident assessment, care plan, visiting, and others that require the presence of family members. As they are the ones who know the resident the best, nursing home personnel will rely on these family members to communicate the full and personal situation of the resident. This will help the nursing home care providers to be able to come up with the best care plans suitable for the resident’s needs.

What is a family council?

The involvement of a resident’s family is further heightened with the establishment of family councils under the Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987. Family councils are designated staff that acts as the bridge between the resident’s family and the nursing home’s management.

The council is made up of families of different residents living in the nursing home, and they designate a member of the home’s staff to convey their concerns to the nursing home’s management. The facility shall provide them a meeting space and the time to meet without other nursing home staff present for them to voice out their concerns with no reservations or fear of retaliation.

Should you be involved in your relative’s nursing home affairs?

The answer to this is yes. If the nursing home resident is willing to have you in on the care they receive from the facility. After all, nursing home puts the needs of their residents first. No matter how much a family wants to get themselves involved in a resident’s life inside a nursing home, they would not be able to make any interventions. Not without a conservatorship order over the resident.

The principle of nursing homes is to put their residents’ needs first. The residents’ families’ needs come after. The whole essence of nursing homes is to provide care to older adults with medical conditions rendering them unsafe to continue living inside their homes with their families. It makes sense that residents have the power over the amount of involvement their family can have when it comes to the care they receive. In the end, it is the resident’s health in question.

Meta title: How Much Can a Family Be Involved in a Relative’s Nursing Home Life?
meta desc: Nursing homes cater to older adults that need special and attentive care. Are they the ones who decide when they should be in a nursing home and how they should be cared for?

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