Elderly people who reside in nursing homes are at risk of abusive treatment. An elderly person who is disabled might be at an increased risk of being abused. If you or your elder notices signs of abuse, it is important to take action as quickly as possible.
Research Complaints and Citations of the Nursing Home
Before choosing a nursing home, do some research about complaints from past residents and their families. If this information is not public, look into the nursing home’s record of inspections. Nursing homes are inspected for health and cleanliness of the residents and the facilities. If the facility has been cited for abuse or other problems, avoid it.
Talk With a Lawyer about Nursing Home Abuse
Talk with a lawyer about nursing home abuse. A disabled elder may be able to communicate what has happened to him or her. A lawyer who works on cases of elder abuse could represent that person in a court case or lawsuit against the nursing home. Professionals, like those at Bennett & Sharp PLLC, can also investigate whether similar cases of abuse have occurred at the same facility. Other aspects, like the same things happening at facilities owned by the same company might also be something worth investigating.
Contact an Inspector or the Nursing Home Licensing Agency
Disabled elders or their family members could contact the inspectors who are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of nursing home residents. Complaints should be given in as much detail as possible. Every complaint should be documented. It may also be a good idea to contact the licensing agency for nursing homes. The facility may have had similar complaints, and one more complaint could get it shut down for good.
Speak with a Physician to Help Document Abusive Behaviors
If you suspect that your disabled elder has been abused, take him or her to an independent doctor. Physicians are mandated reporters. If the physician finds evidence that your elder has been a victim of abuse, the doctor must report it to the proper authorities for investigation. This takes the burden off of you for doing the reporting. It could also help your family member to get treatment for injuries caused by abuse.
Avail yourself of as many services as you can in order to protect your elderly loved one. The department on aging, law enforcement, lawyers, and doctors can all be of assistance to you. These professionals can help you to get your elderly family member into a safer living situation for better health.
Author Info: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber.