How to Report Abuse in a Nursing Home
Thousands of senior adults in the U.S. live in nursing homes. These elders are dependent on other people for their fundamental needs, such as water, food, and clothing. However, many nursing homes have unsatisfactory and inadequately trained employees, which adds to the increasing issue of nursing home abuse.
Nursing home abuse, particularly long-term care abuse, may include:
- Failure to provide sufficient water, food, or medication;
- Failure to guard the senior against safety risks; and
- Battery, rape, assault, or any other undesirable physical contact.
- Mental abuse, such as creating mental anguish, intimidating, or threatening
- Financial scams, such as using the resources of an elderly person without their consent and for an individual's own benefit
There are several actions you can take to help stop nursing home abuse, which include:
- Asking the right questions: When selecting a nursing home, ask multiple questions about the services they supply, the staff, and any other questions you may have;
- Checking with your loved ones: Watch for weight loss, bruises, and differences in demeanor or mood;
- Listening to any complaints: Pay attention if your loved one mentions a problem, such as missed prescriptions;
- Visiting often: By visiting as often as possible, you can monitor for problems and signs of abuse.
If you suspect your loved one was a victim, contact a nursing home abuse law firm in Chicago right away.
Where Can I File a Nursing Home Complaint?
Regardless of where you reside, you can report nursing home abuse or neglect to your local law enforcement agencies. Each state has an Adult Protective Services (APS) agency, several of which have 24-hour hotlines for reporting abuse. Calling this hotline will start an investigation and potential referral to law enforcement if a criminal offense is suspected.
Your state’s attorney general office can also investigate nursing home abuse complaints and bring civil or criminal actions. Going through your state attorney general can also lead to improved state management of a nursing home and suspension or cancellation of its license to operate.
Once you've delivered a nursing home complaint to authorities, it's essential to provide all of the info you have concerning any particular incidents, even info that you learn after filing the complaint, as this will provide that a resident receives the security they need.
Collect the Evidence
Delivering enough information to investigators helps them determine whether a resident needs immediate hospital care or help in securing access to bank accounts.
When gathering information for a nursing home complaint, it's critical to document:
- The statements of the victim and any witnesses;
- Locations and a timeline of events;
- Any wounds with descriptions and pictures;
- The victim's finances;
- Reports of nursing home supervisors about the incident;
- Statements of the victim's medical providers
Do I Need a Nursing Home Lawyer?
It is imperative to have a nursing home lawyer for nursing home abuse cases. In many cases, the nursing home will have a lawyer on staff to represent them in any lawsuits.
In some circumstances, nursing home patients are hurt due to nursing home negligence. This happens when a worker, staff member, or another worker at a nursing home fails to exercise the duty of care owed to the patients and residents.
In many circumstances, this includes neglect and abuse of patients or residents. For the nursing home to be held responsible, the employee's actions must be the direct and proximate cause of the person’s injury. There must be measurable damages, for instance, a broken leg treated at the hospital.
A nursing home abuse lawyer can review your claim, determine if the nursing home may be liable for damages, and assist you in filing a lawsuit. It is crucial to have an attorney helping you care for your elderly loved ones who cannot care for themselves.
A nursing home lawyer will be knowledgeable about your state's laws and what kind of claim you may have on behalf of a loved one. Contact a nursing home abuse attorney to defend your loved one's rights.
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