Nursing homes provide care and support to elderly individuals who require assistance with their daily activities. They are meant to offer a safe and secure environment where seniors receive the necessary care and attention. After all, we pay good money to ensure our loved one’s needs are met and expect nothing less. Unfortunately, there have been instances where nursing home staff members have abused residents, which can cause physical, emotional, and psychological harm.
Nursing home abuse can be difficult to detect, and it can be even more challenging to prove. Many elderly individuals may be hesitant to report abuse due to fear or embarrassment, while others may not be able to communicate their experiences effectively. As a result, one must know what steps to take if a loved one experiences nursing home abuse. To help you with this, here are some steps to take:
1. Talk to Your Family Member and the Nursing Home Staff
If you suspect nursing home abuse, the first step is to talk to your family member and the staff. Start by talking to your family member and try to understand their experiences. Listen carefully to their concerns and ask them how they are treated. If they are hesitant to talk about it, reassure them that you are there to support them and will do everything you can to help.
After speaking with your family member, schedule a meeting with the nursing home staff to discuss your concerns. Explain your worries and ask them to investigate the matter. You should request to be present during the investigation and take notes of what is being said. You must remain calm and professional during this meeting to ensure that the issue is handled appropriately.
2. Make Records and Take Notes of Potential Evidence
Documenting any potential evidence is crucial to help your case. Take detailed notes of any conversations you have with your family member or nursing home staff regarding the issue. Write down dates, times, and specific details of any incidents. This information can be crucial if you decide to pursue legal action.
Additionally, take photos of any physical injuries or bruises your family member may have sustained. If your loved one cannot communicate, document any changes in their behavior or physical appearance that may suggest abuse or neglect. This evidence can be used to support your claims and hold the nursing home accountable for its actions.
3. Notify the Authorities
There are two entities you can notify if you suspect your loved one experiences abuse in their nursing home. The first is the police, who can investigate criminal activity such as physical assault or sexual abuse, and help you press charges. They will also document any evidence that can be used in criminal court.
The state’s Adult Protective Services (APS) agency is the second entity. APS is responsible for investigating allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults. They work closely with law enforcement to ensure the victim is safe and the perpetrator is held accountable.
The police and APS can conduct investigations and take legal action against the nursing home if they find evidence of abuse or neglect. It is important to notify these authorities as soon as possible to ensure that your loved one is safe and that justice is served.
4. File a Formal Complaint
In addition to notifying the police and APS, you can file a formal complaint with the nursing home’s administration or regulatory agency. This can be done online, by mail, or in person. When filing a complaint, be sure to provide as much detail as possible about the incidents of abuse or neglect, including dates, times, and any witnesses. Also, include any documentation or evidence you have gathered.
The nursing home administration or regulatory agency will investigate your complaint and take appropriate action, including disciplinary action against staff members or changes in policies and procedures to prevent future incidents. Filing a formal complaint can help ensure that the nursing home is held accountable for any abuse or neglect and can also help improve the quality of care for other residents in the facility.
5. Consult with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The most serious cases of nursing home abuse or neglect may require legal action. Consulting with a nursing home abuse lawyer can help you understand your legal options and pursue justice for your loved one. A lawyer can help you gather evidence, file a lawsuit, and negotiate a settlement with the nursing home.
Choosing a lawyer with experience in nursing home abuse cases is vital if you’re considering legal action. Look for a lawyer with a track record of success in this area and who is willing to work with you to achieve the best possible outcome for your loved one.
Nursing home abuse is an unfortunate reality in many facilities nationwide. For this reason, you must be vigilant, know the signs of abuse and neglect, and take action if you suspect your loved one is being mistreated. When you hold the perpetrator accountable, you can help ensure that justice is served and your loved one receives the care and respect they deserve.
If you’re looking for nursing home abuse lawyers, Jehl Law Group can help you! The elderly deserve proper care and respect, so our nursing home abuse lawyers will work to ensure your loved one gets rightful compensation. Call us today at (901) 306-6508 for a free consultation!