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What To Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

Published on February 10th, 2020

Personal Injury Lawyer

Nursing home residents deserve to be treated with care and dignity. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse are quite common and are often underreported, if reported at all. Many residents experience shame, fear, or embarrassment that prevents them from speaking out. Additionally, communication troubles add to the problem if the patient is unable to write or speak. If you have an idea that your loved one may be experiencing nursing home neglect or abuse, report it right away.

How Do I Report the Abuse?

Nursing home neglect and abuse generally stem from staff members that are inadequately trained or even actively aggressive. Additionally, other residents can also contribute to nursing home abuse if the staff does not take measures to correct the problem. If you suspect that your loved one isn’t being treated appropriately, there are many different options when it comes to reporting the situation.

  • Your local police or law enforcement
  • The administrators of the nursing home
  • Your local long-term care ombudsmen
  • Family doctors and healthcare professionals

In these situations, it’s always better to be on the safe side and report a situation that may not exist, as opposed to leaving your loved one in a potentially abusive situation. Even if your family member isn’t willing to report the abuse, you can take action to protect them and keep them safe.

What Are the Warning Signs of Abuse?

There are common warning signs to let you know something may be amiss. If you see any of the following, make sure to take it seriously.

  • Unexplained bruising, bleeding, or injuries
  • Unusual financial activity
  • Bedsores
  • Unexplained infections, sickness, or viruses
  • Emotional withdrawal or other negative behavioral developments

How Do I Document the Abuse?

If you’ve noticed any of the abovementioned warning signs, it’s important to get as much information as possible. Documenting the incident is very important as it will make your claim stronger if you have more evidence. If you observe any changes in behavior, write down what the change was and when you noticed it. Be sure to take pictures of any bedsores or unexplained wounds. Additionally, you can interview staff or other witnesses and take down statements. If the resident is willing or able to make a statement, be sure to include that in your documentation.

It’s important to note that these warning signs should be taken seriously. While you may think you’re overreacting, it’s always better to report the incident and play it safe. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect is occurring, be sure to seek out an experienced nursing home lawyer, like a nursing home lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, to help you.

 


 

Thank you to the experts at Wieand Law Firm for their insight into nursing home law.

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