Nursing Home Abuse: How To Intervene

Families want to trust that those who work in nursing homes will take good care of their senior loved one. But tragically, abuse, neglect, and abandonment happens all too often at nursing home facilities. This trust can quickly be broken when staff and administrators fail to offer adequate care for residents. Nursing home neglect and abuse can occur at any facility, regardless of reputation and appearance. Family members should always be alert to signs of mistreatment so they can intervene quickly. Here are four things you can do if you suspect that your relative is the victim of nursing home mistreatment.

#1 Talk To Your Family Member
If you think something is wrong at the nursing home, start by talking to your family member. They can let you know directly what the issues are and how it affects them. But keep in mind that someone who is being seriously abused may also be too scared to bring the matter to light, so you may have to do further investigation just to make sure they are safely being taken care of. What may appear like mistreatment at an initial glance could have a reasonable explanation, but you won’t know unless you dive deeper into the situation to uncover the full truth.

#2 Gather Potential Evidence
When addressing issues of nursing home abuse or neglect, evidence will be important. Administrators and staff will almost always be quick to dismiss the accusations and defend themselves. It is crucial that you prevent a situation where it is your family member’s word against the nursing home, especially if your relative is still residing there, as you could be unintentionally making it worse for them. Keep records of potential evidence that you may use to support your claims later. For instance, if you notice your senior loved one has bruises or marks that cannot be explained, take pictures and note down the time and day you observed this. Such records could become the deciding factors if you move your claim to trial.

#3 Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your family member has become the victim of neglect or abuse, and you want to seek recourse for the emotional and physical damage, then contact a lawyer familiar with handling cases of this sensitive nature. As a Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyer from Disparti Law Group has seen, incidents of abuse are serious, and can have lasting impacts on the victim. So prompt and early intervention when the signs arise is key to protecting your loved one from future harm. A nursing home lawyer will already be privy to cases like these and can come to your family’s aid immediately.

#4 Submit an Official Complaint
Once you have recruited help from a lawyer, you can submit an official complaint. Your lawyer can help you draft this document and ensure that it covers everything you need to include. The state may give the nursing home a monetary fine and force changes to be made in their procedures. The nursing home will be given a chance to address the issue so that other residents are not injured from substandard care. If the case is not resolved satisfactorily and needs to move forward to trial, then that is an option best supported with assistance from a legal team.

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