What You Can Do About Suspected Nursing Home Neglect or Elder Abuse
The warning signs are clear, and now you suspect that your family member or other loved one may be at risk for nursing home abuse or elder abuse. Now is the time to protect your elder and find a safe and comfortable facility for their care.
Here are the next steps for protecting your loved one from nursing home abuse:
Report the abuse: You do not need definitive proof that abuse is happening to report it, but reporting suspected abuse may have a positive effect by removing the abuser and preventing them from hurting others. Remember, call 911 if you, a loved one, or another senior is in immediate physical danger. Learn more about HOW TO REPORT
Discuss other care options with your family: Sometimes a nursing home facility is the best care option for your loved one, but you do have choices – start to learn more about nursing home facilities.
Become empowered: Learn what to look for when choosing the next nursing home or assisted living facility.
How to Report Abuse
Nursing home, assisted living abuse, and elder abuse can be demoralizing and traumatic, but what is happening is not your fault or the resident’s and must be stopped. There is no shame in getting help. Responding to and reporting assisted living abuse might be difficult, but it can have a positive effect by removing the abuser and preventing them from hurting others. You do not need definitive proof that nursing home/ elder abuse is happening in order to report it. Many states allow you to make a confidential report.
Remember, call 911 if you, a loved one, or another senior is in immediate physical danger.
Doctors, nurses, and other health providers have a legal duty to report nursing home abuse. Others are morally obligated to report elder abuse. (You Tube: Your Legal Duty - Reporting Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse)
Each state has toll-free lines to report elder abuse. Look up your state’s long term care ombudsman. An ombudsman is someone who investigates complaints and mediates fair solutions.
When you call your state’s elder abuse hotline, be prepared to give the nursing home resident's name, address, and details about the suspected abuse. Some states ask for your contact information, but others will allow confidential reports to be made.
Local law enforcement officers and Adult Protective Services are often trained on how to investigate and handle assisted living abuse cases. Sometimes what you suspect may only be a fraction of what is actually occurring.
Link To Our Page On HOW TO REPORT
After you report the abuse:
- Remove your loved one from the abusive situation immediately.
- Research other long term care options in your community.
In some cases, poorly run nursing homes may know about the abuse and are not stopping it. Large corporate nursing homes may not be aware that one individual is abusing or neglecting seniors. But it is up to you whether or not to inform the nursing home about why you are leaving.
Consider consulting a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Nursing home abuse is a serious offense that should be punished and prevented from occurring again. Your willingness to take legal action with the help of a nursing home abuse attorney against the facility which allowed the abuse to occur, or the abuser who caused the harm, may help save other nursing home residents from the same abuse, neglect, or exploitation.