When you've made the tough decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to receive quality care.
That's what nursing homes are for, after all.
They are there to provide your loved one with a level of care that you are unable to.
Fortunately, most nursing homes do this and provide excellent care to all of their residents.
But, if you ever suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, you need to take action right away.
In the article below, we will talk about what you should do if you notice signs of abuse and how to find the top nursing home abuse lawyer.
Recognize the Signs
First, you need to be able to recognize the signs because nursing home abuse can be hard to spot, but can have a big impact on their lives.
Some signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Problems with medication
- The unwillingness of staff to let you access your loved one without prior notice
- Suspicious financial transactions
- A new or unexplained injury or change in their behavior
Document What Happened
Once you have reason to believe your loved one has been neglected or abused, you need to gather information to support your belief.
Write down exactly what you've noticed, the location of the abuse or neglect, and the date and time you noticed the incident.
You also need to take photos of the injuries or conditions that are causing your concern gather medical records and speak to other residents or trustworthy caregivers if possible.
The signs you’re noticing might be the result of something else.
This is also the time to raise your concerns with the nursing home.
Question The Nursing Home Staff
Hopefully, your suspicions are wrong, and there's just been a misunderstanding.
You need to be willing to hear the staff's side of the story before taking further action.
If they can't or won't explain the situation to your liking, you can start looking into more formal action.
The nursing home staff should be more than willing and able to explain any situation you see as possible neglect, whether it involves your loved one or not.
If the suspected neglect you've observed is an emergency, call 911 right away to ensure that your loved one gets the immediate treatment or care that they need.
This ensures your loved one's health is taken care of, and it gets law enforcement involved as they can witness the situation first- hand.
It is important to report any alleged abuse done to any of the nursing home residents so that a full investigation can be done.
You won't be liable if you make your report in good faith, even if it turns out that no harm has been done.
Speak With Your Loved One
The first thing you should do is speak to your loved one privately if you're able to.
If you aren't allowed to speak to them, you need to take further action right away and seek the advice of an attorney with knowledge of nursing home abuse and neglect.
If neglect has occurred, your loved one might be hesitant to speak out about abuse to their family for several reasons, ranging from fear of further neglect to simply not wanting to worry you.
Remove Your Loved One
If your concerns are substantiated and the nursing home doesn’t take action to address the issue, remove your loved one from their care immediately and place them in a facility that can provide them with the care they deserve.
You also want to get your loved one somewhere safe before deciding to report the incident or file a claim.
Speak With An Attorney
If neglect or abuse is all but obvious, you need to seek legal action and speak with an attorney who has experience representing nursing home abuse victims.
Lawsuits that allege nursing home harm or neglect must be brought within that state's statute of limitations to avoid being barred.
Because you will be on a deadline, it's important that if abuse is suspected, you contact an experienced attorney right away.
Most nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys offer a free consultation where they will be able to evaluate and better investigate your claim.
If your claim is substantiated, they will help you seek proper compensation for the resident who was abused.
If the facility decides to settle your case to preserve confidentiality, your lawyer will ensure that the settlement you are offered is sufficient.