Neglect and abuse have no place in nursing homes, yet many people struggle with the abuse they face in these very facilities. Nursing home abuse can range from forgetting to give a patient medications or overmedicating patients to ignoring patients when they call for help or are hurt.
As someone who has an elderly loved one, you need to make sure you take steps to guarantee their safety. There are a few things you should do before you choose any nursing home and some things to continue doing after a nursing home is chosen.
1. Always stop in unexpectedly
One good rule of thumb is to stop into the nursing home you’ve chosen or are considering when the staff isn’t expecting you. You don’t want to come at the same time every week, for example, because it could make it easy for people to hide abuse or neglect.
2. Talk about your loved one’s health
If the staff knows that you’re keeping up to date on your loved one’s health and well-being, it will be much harder for anyone to neglect or abuse them. Why? You’d know right away. This is enough to stop some people from making a wrong move against your loved one.
3. Report any changes you notice or signs of abuse to the nursing home’s director and the appropriate authorities
Finally, if you do notice signs of abuse or neglect, it’s in your best interests and the interests of your loved one to let the nursing home director know. Keep documentation on the incident and keep copies of any kind of evidence you have, such as photographs or video. The director can look into the incident that is prompting your concerns and make sure your loved one is transported to the hospital or other care facility where you’d like them to receive treatment for their injuries or illnesses.
If the nursing home director is not listening or refuses to assist you, you can report abuse to a local elder abuse hotline or call the police. In emergencies, it’s best to call 911 and to allow the emergency medical technicians to handle the care of your loved one and to take them to the nearest hospital.
Your attorney will help you review your case and determine if elder abuse took place and if you have the evidence needed to pursue a claim against the nursing home, a specific nurse or medical provider, or other party involved in your loved one’s suffering.