When you leave your loved one in a nursing home, you want them to get the best care possible, but unfortunately, in some cases, abuse or negligence does occur. If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence or abuse, there are several things you should do. Take a look at these suggestions.
1. Don't Ignore Reports of Negligence or Abuse.
If your loved one complains to you about the treatment they are receiving in the nursing home, don't ignore them. Listen to their concerns, and assure them you will help deal with the situation. In addition to listening to your loved one, look for signs of abuse such as bruises, changes in personality, arguments between your relative and their caretaker, or unexplained depression in your loved one.
2. Talk With Other Residents
In some cases, it can be hard to communicate with loved ones. In particular, if your loved one suffers from dementia or other mental ailments, they may not have the capacity to tell you things clearly. Sadly, in some cases, you may even wonder if they were simply hallucinating. It can be difficult to know what is really happening.
In these cases, you may also want to talk with the other residents of the nursing home to see if they are having similar experiences. You may also want to talk with residents' family members.
3. Approach Administrators
If you suspect that a single person or a small handful of people on the nursing home staff are abusing your loved one, you may want to approach the administrators of the facility. They can look into the claim and take care of the issue.
However, in some cases, you may suspect that the negligence goes all the way up the chain. For example, if you believe that the administrators are complicit in not feeding your loved one regularly, not taking care of their hygiene, withholding medicine, or doing other things, you may not want to approach the administration. If the administration knows you suspect something, they may try to cover up what's happening. Instead, you may want to contact a third party.
4. Contact a Third Party
Consider contacting Adult Protective Services in your state. These state agencies are responsible for taking care of claims of abuse to elderly or disabled residents in their areas. In some cases, you may also want to contact a local ombudsman. These individuals help mediate disputes for free. Finally, in some cases, you may want to contact local law enforcement right away. If you suspect rape, sexual abuse, or violence, you should contact the police.
5. Consider Moving Your Loved One
If possible, you may want to consider moving your loved one. For example, if they can stay with you temporarily, that can keep them safe from the abuse while the issue is investigated. Alternatively, find someone you can trust in the nursing home, and have them give you reports on your loved one's condition and how they are being treated.
6. Contact an Attorney
Nursing home negligence or abuse is a serious issue, and it can lead to emotional distress, medical costs, and other issues for the victims. If you suspect abuse or negligence, you may want to contact a lawyer. They can help guide you through the proper channels of reporting the abuse, and they can help you decide if you should bring a legal case against the nursing home. If the lawyer helps you mount a successful case, your loved one could reclaim medical bills, expenses, and compensation for pain and suffering. To learn more, contact a lawyer at a law firm such as Bennett & Sharp PLLC.