Nursing homes are supposed to provide your loved one with the full-time care that they need. Most times, the staff and other residents are great and your loved one is in the best hands. But sometimes, they are not, and your loved one suffers from nursing home abuse. In fact, one in six residents experience some form of abuse in community settings, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
When your loved one is being abused at their long-term care facility, you might be hesitant to report because you don’t know who to turn to. Reporting the abuse is important so that your loved one can get justice and so the abusers cannot cause harm to anybody else. A nursing home abuse lawyer from the Law Office of Todd W. Burris will ensure that your loved one is supported and is treated fairly through their case.
Who to Report Nursing Home Abuse To
Nursing home abuse can happen for a number of reasons, both intentional and unintentional. While some cases come from understaffing and lack of time available for each worker in a day, other cases are from malicious workers and residents who wish to inflict harm on others.
When you suspect your loved one is experiencing any kind of abuse in their long-term care facility, you’ll want to report your suspicions to the correct people to help your potential case later. Here is who you report nursing home abuse to:
- Nursing home administrators. The staff and administrators who work in the nursing home are the first people who you should report suspected nursing home abuse to. Nursing homes have federal guidelines for how to handle claims of abuse. If the administration doesn’t investigate your claims or implement any changes in their staff or facility, then you can move on to report to other entities. This first step also gets your complaints on file as proof of your suspicions later.
- Long-term care ombudsman. The federal Older Americans Act requires every state to have an Ombudsman Program which supports and advocates for families and residents who have complaints about their nursing home. A long-term care ombudsman can advocate for your loved one’s rights against their facility who is abusing them.
- Law enforcement. If you suspect your loved one is in immediate danger from the abuse, then emergency services should be your first contact. Otherwise, you should file a police report if the abuse continues after your initial complaints to the above entities so the police can perform an investigation and make an official report as more evidence.
Once you’ve reported your loved one’s abuse to the proper authorities, you might be interested in legal representation so you are supported through this difficult time. A Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer will know and protect your loved one’s rights, which can grant you peace of mind that they are on the path to justice.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
You want what is best for your loved one, so if you think they’re being abused in their nursing home, you feel betrayed. You’ll want to be sure of your accusations before reporting your suspicions so you have a firm base for your complaints. Here are some signs to look out for if you suspect your loved one in a nursing home is being abused physically, emotionally, or financially, or being neglected:
- Poor hygiene
- Drastic weight loss
- Suspicious banking activity
Especially in the time of COVID-19, you want to protect your loved one in a nursing home. They deserve the best treatment and care while in their facilities, and when you suspect they’re getting less than they deserve, then you should reach out to a Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer who can stand up for you and your loved one.
Although making a nursing home abuse claim can seem intimidating, it’s important that you hold the facility accountable for their mistreatment so it doesn’t happen to anybody else or the people they love. The Law Office of Todd W. Burris knows this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we want to provide you with the support you need to get justice. Reach out to our office today so we can get started on your potential case.