Nursing home neglect is fear for all families whose loved ones need a home and special care. When you place your father or mother or any senior in a nursing home, you expect them to receive the best care, and even more than anything else, you expect them to be safe. Here’s the issue. Those who rely on nursing homes to take care of them don’t always know what’s going on there, and loved ones may be afraid, or unable to speak up and tell them when things are not as they should be. If you suspect that there’s a case of neglect occurring with your loved one, it’s crucial to take action immediately. Here’s how to know and what to do.
What are signs of abuse or neglect
About one in 10 seniors in nursing homes are experiencing abuse or neglect. The heartbreaking fact is that many are afraid to speak or can’t speak for themselves.. There are physical and behavioral signs that can alert you to the danger loved ones may be facing.
- Changes in behavior
- Injuries that can’t be explained
- Weight loss
- The staff won’t let you see the patient without authorization or prior notice
- Financial transactions that seem suspicious
- Medication problems
Your elderly parent or relative, who has been cheerful may suddenly exhibit signs distress or fear and pain. You may even see wounds and bruises that suddenly appear without explanation. These are clear sign that someone is hurting them. There are also some cases of broken bones that develop suddenly. You can click for source and read about other information on neglect.
Steps to take when you suspect abuse or neglect
It’s essential to approach the situation calmly and not panic. You’ll be against an institution, and it’s their word against yours. At this point, if you do believe that your elderly loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect, you need to gather some information to help support your claims.
Document what you’re seeing
List all the signs that you’ve noticed about your loved one’s behavior and physical state. Record the dates and times of when it happened or when you noticed them, and the locations of where it happened. Take pictures of the injuries, look for copies of medical records, seek out trustworthy nursing home staff, and find out what happened.
With proper investigation, you may be able to confirm your suspicions. It’s now time to do something about this particular nursing home.
Talk to your loved one alone
Your senior loved one is your most important source of information. It’s essential to speak to him or her in private so that you can find out more about the actual situation. If the staff is preventing you from seeing your own family or relative, you can choose to take action against the nursing home. There are many ways to protect your senior, and knowing what to do can save them from further harm. Be aware that anyone from the nursing home will refuse to speak to you once an investigation launches.
Steps to take when there’s a medical emergency
If your loved one badly needs medical help, it may be up to you to do something. If you know your loved one is severely ill, you’ll have to take the initiative and call 911 to get emergency treatment. In the case of a medical emergency, the patient must be removed to safety. You can decide to involve law enforcement right there so they’ll get to observe and investigate the situation for you.
As both family of the patient and a concerned citizen, you may carry on with your report in good faith. You want to make sure for the sake of your family or relative. Even if there was no abuse or neglect, they won’t take your actions as a nuisance.
Investigate the history of the nursing home
If you can’t get answers from the staff, you can do your research about the facility. You can ask other family members of patients, periodicals, and other public library records. You may be able to find out if the nursing home has a history of complaints.
Such complaints involve the staff having slow responses to calls or emergencies. It’s a sign that they don’t’ want to do their jobs. The elderly may also experience isolation from family members, and that can affect their health. Poor quality of food is also a sign that the nursing home is violating their rights.
Consult an experienced lawyer to see if there is a case to be made
Your senior family member deserves the protection you can get for them. Abuse and neglect are severe violations of human rights and should not be tolerated. Seek out a lawyer that has a history of handling nursing home cases. If proven that your senior is indeed under abuse or neglect, they may be entitled to compensation that the law can provide.
It’s essential to report these nursing homes for them to change and improve. Nursing homes are legally liable if they hire unqualified staff, if they make errors with medications, and if the nursing home is breaches statutory or regulatory obligations, according to the abuse and neglect basics of nursing home law.
If your senior is experiencing maltreatment under an institution that’s supposed to care for them, it’s a matter that shouldn’t be treated lightly. Those mentioned above are essential steps to take so that you can quickly remove your loved one away from the location and bring abuse and neglect to the attention of the public.