What Steps Should You Take If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
If your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the Houston, TX nursing home abuse attorneys at McDonald Worley today.
When we place a friend or loved one in a nursing home, we expect that they will receive quality care. That is the job of nursing homes – offering quality care to residents, which is what the family was unable to provide. While most nursing homes do offer such a level of care to their residents, some might not be doing the same. If you suspect abuse in a nursing home, you must act accordingly. Do not let the abuse continue, and let its perpetrators go unpunished. Below are the steps you should take:
1. Be Rational
Do not lose your temper. It’s best to remain calm and act quickly. Seek a resolution to the issue by acting reasonably. Ask the nursing home management about your concerns about abuse. Hear what they have to say about your claims.
What you think is happening might not be; that is why you should request an explanation and be willing to hear what the staff or management has to say before you decide to take further action. If they don’t give you any definitive answers, or are unwilling to explain things, take formal action. They should clarify any situation you have seen that suggests possible neglect or abuse, whether it impacts your loved one directly or not.
2. Speak to Your Loved One
You should consult with your loved one privately, and if the nursing home management does not permit this for any reason, then you should take formal legal action. Report the matter to the relevant authorities and seek legal counsel from a lawyer who handles nursing home neglect and abuse cases. Keep in mind that those in the home might not be willing to speak out regarding any abuse for a variety of reasons, including fear or not wanting you to worry.
3. Be Nosy and Take Notes
If the caregivers are professionals that are true to their calling, they will not mind your questioning. On the other hand, you also need to approach them respectfully and be reasonable. Look for the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect and make sure you write down everything you think is suspicious. If possible, take pictures and get the names and job positions of the staff.
Also, talk with the coherent residents who can talk and are willing to speak about the incident. Bring what you are told to the nursing home management’s attention. If the situation is not corrected, then take further actions by forwarding the matter to the relevant authorities and informing your attorney.
4. Call the Police
If the abuse is evident or you believe your loved one faces imminent danger while under the care of the nursing home, inform the police and ask them to act immediately. The idea is for you to file a formal complaint stating your concerns. In some situations, the police might intervene to confirm your claims and ensure the safety of the people in the nursing home.
5. Report Suspected Abuse or Neglect
Every state in America has some form of protective services for senior citizens. If you do not know who to inform, get in touch with the National Center on Elder Abuse (1-800-677-1116). Each nursing home is legally required to publicly post the name and contact information for the local Ombudsman tasked with investigating cases of neglect and abuse. If you cannot find the number, ask the nursing home administrator or call the police or relevant law enforcement agency to request the information.
6. Consult a Lawyer
Nursing home residents are entitled to protection against abuse and neglect. They should be shown compassion and given the necessary care. If that is not the case, and there is proof of neglect or abuse, the residents are entitled to seek compensation. You can act on behalf of a resident, helping them seek compensation, but this is subject to the nature of your relationship. Nevertheless, the steps you take to help put an end to such conduct in a nursing home can have a significant impact, especially in cases where facilities are adamant about changing because they want to maintain their profit margins.
If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect, Call McDonald Worley
In situations like this, never simply wait and see what will happen. If you suspect a nursing home is neglecting or abusing its residents, you should act immediately. Report the abuse or neglect to the relevant authorities. It might be the only effective way of putting an end to the behavior and ensuring that residents receive the care they deserve. Moreover, consulting an experienced lawyer helps reinforce the severity of the issue, ensuring that immediate corrective measures are taken thanks to your action.
If a friend or loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, get in touch with McDonald Worley and speak with our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys. They will help you know your legal rights and how you can help your loved one. Call and schedule your free initial consultation today.