What to do if you suspect nursing home abuse
There are signs that may cause you to believe your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. Some of these signs include poor hygiene, different behavior, a sudden change in weight loss, unresponsiveness, unexplained injuries, damaged clothing, bedsores, dehydration, soiled bedding, and anxiety or maybe there is an unusual wait time before you or other visitors can see your loved one. Any of these may be signs of nursing home abuse and should not be ignored.
The management should have given you the written policy of the nursing home when you made your decision on the nursing home and filled out all the paperwork. It is the law that this policy should have been given to you. It is also the law that it should be followed.
Here are the steps you should follow if you are seeing signs that may indicate the policy is not being followed and resulting in possible nursing home abuse and/or negligence:
- Remain Calm and Be Rational: It is very easy to lose your temper if you believe your loved one is not being treated correctly. Even though this is clearly an issue someone can get emotional about, it is in the best interest of all parties that you remain calm.
- Speak to Management: Unless your loved one’s life is in imminent danger (call 911 if it is), it is better to speak to the nursing home supervisor or facility manager. Speak to them calmly and professionally. Let them investigate into the matter or offer an explanation.
- Speak to your loved one: This needs to be done privately so they will be comfortable enough to tell you everything. Keep in mind that even when you speak to your loved one, they may still be reluctant to tell you what is going on due to fear of retribution. If the staff or management of the facility will not give you privacy, then you need to take immediate action and contact an Attorney
- Take Notes: Qualified caregivers will not mind you asking questions if you do it in a calm and respectable manner. Take written notes of who you talk to, but try not to do it in front of them because their seeing you document things may make them hesitant in answering your questions.
- Report Suspected Elder Abuse or Neglect: You can call the National Center on Elder Abuse at 1-800-677-1116 and also contact the State Adult Protective Service Department
- Contact a Lawyer: Reporting nursing home neglect or abuse is essential, but most facilities that are guilty of this usually don’t change until legal action is taken against them.
The nursing home abuse lawyers at Madalon Law understand the details and approach that is needed for success in these unique types of cases. We will take on all the financial risks in your case and will not bill you unless we win. Contact us today and let our family protect yours.