The federal nursing home reform law and the state laws outline the right of a nursing home resident. A family places a loved one in a nursing home when they want the person to get quality care that they themselves cannot provide. Although most homes offer proper attention to their residents, some of them are abusive.
The different types of nursing home abuse include physical, emotional, sexual, financial exploitation, neglect, and many others. Abuse in nursing home care is due to willing acts of cruelty of a caregiver on an individual. The abuse may also be committed by untrained employees, lack of resources, and knowledge in the nursing home. When you suspect nursing home abuse, you have the right to take action.
When you suspect your loved one is being abused, be rational about the situation to protect them from more harm. Losing your temper in this situation may not provide a solution. Ask your loved one whether there have been cases of abuse before jumping to the conclusion. Various signs can tell you something is wrong with your loved one. Examples include unexpected loss of weight, bruises, mental status changes, infections, fear to speak, and physical appearance changes. The best way to quickly detect the issue is to regularly visit your loved one to track their progress and gauge your concerns. When getting this information from your loved one, write down and document every point concerning the situation.
Questioning the caregivers is another aspect that can help you determine whether there is nursing home abuse. When talking to the staff, ensure you are respectful and careful that the right questions concerning the situation at hand. Have a well-written document on information collected and highlight any arising problem. When collecting data, indicate the names, job descriptions, and positions of the staff and the residents you talk to. The next step is to speak to the nursing home management to handle the issue. Most nursing homes are profit-making organizations, and when some employees build a negative reputation, they are quick to rectify the problem. If management does not correct the issue, get a nursing home abuse attorney.
Reporting to the authority is another way to deal with nursing home abuse. They will come and investigate the nursing home to have a clear view of the abuse in the facility. Every state has a protective service for nursing home residents. When you detect the abuse and the residents are in danger, calling the police is the action to take. You may be required to file a complaint with the police to help the residents. You can also call 911 or dial the hotline number that is always available around the clock.
You can take your loved one to another facility. Although this may be a difficult step since the person had already familiarized with the environment and made friends in the nursing home, making him or her resistant to change. There is also the fear of what to expect in the next nursing home.
For legal action to be taken on a nursing home, hiring a nursing home abuse attorney can protect your loved one and other residents in the nursing home. An experienced attorney can represent you in court with the evidence you collected. Some nursing homes may not change their behavior unless something is done to affect the business' profits. An attorney can help in reinforcing the rights of the residents.
When you suspect nursing home abuse, taking immediate action can protect the residents who may not be able to speak for themselves. Reporting the nursing home will force them to follow federal law to protect residents in nursing homes and offer quality care. Consulting a lawyer is one of the best actions because most of them will not charge immediately. An attorney will ensure correct measures are put in place to ensure the safety of the residents. Unless nursing homes are addressed with seriousness, there will always be increased rates of residents' abuse.