What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Negligence

Jul. 18th, 2022   /  

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Negligence

People expect nursing homes to provide quality care for older relatives placed in such facilities. However, you may feel betrayed if a nursing home you entrusted with the care of a loved one is neglecting your relative. When you notice any signs of negligence or mistreatment in a care facility, don’t allow it to continue. Here are steps to take to protect a loved one from negligence.

Remain Calm

It could be annoying if you suspect that the administrators and staff of a nursing home neglect your relative under their care. It would be best to control your temper and stay calm. However, you will find a reasonable solution to the negligence.

Discuss the Situation with Your Relative

A loved one in a nursing home may feel reluctant to expose negligence experienced in the facility due to fear. Your relative may not want to bother you about the issue or have other reasons. A private discussion with the person enables you to find out the challenges the individual is experiencing.

You can also discover any situation that gets your loved one worried. The facility’s management may not allow you to have a private talk with your relative. If such a situation arises, it is better to report the suspected negligence.

Talk to the Management and Staff of the Facility

emotional and physical damage

It is best to talk to the nursing home’s management and staff about your suspicions. They may have reasonable explanations for the situation you regarded as neglect. The management of the facility is supposed to address the issues you raised even when they don’t affect your relative. You can take further action if they aren’t willing to explain the situation. Besides, you may use the facility’s argument in defense of their actions if you have to make an official complaint.

Compile Evidence

If you suspect negligence or abuse in a nursing home, take note of the signs. Write down what you perceive that is amiss in the facility. You can take pictures if possible. Here are some warning signs.
– Unkempt appearance of residents and untreated illness or injuries.
– Manifestation of negative emotions like confusion and fear.
– Changes in weight
– Unexplained financial transactions like paid bills for services not received by the residents
– Bruises and other physical injuries
– Unusual sexually transmitted infections

It will help if you write down the date you first noticed any of these signs and how long it has been present. It will be useful when reporting neglect or abuse. Write the account of coherent residents who witnessed questionable happenings in the facility and are willing to share the information with you. Also, take note of the job positions and names of staff you spoke to about your concerns.

It is ideal to document your relative’s complaints of neglect. You can take videos or photos of unexplained injuries with the consent of the victim. Medical record with details of telltale signs of neglect like infections or bedsores is useful. You can install a hidden camera in your relative’s room to capture any form of mistreatment.

Gather sufficient evidence to prove if a loved one or other residents of a nursing home are mistreated. If they are neglected or abused, the evidence will support your claim against the facility. You may even witness the moment of the wrongdoing. When you have enough evidence, draw the attention of the appropriate authorities to the mistreatment of residents in the facility.

Report Suspected Neglect

Contact the care home’s ombudsman and present your case. It is necessary you ensure the officer conducts a thorough investigation of the situation. The ombudsman is responsible for resolving issues affecting care facility residents. Each care facility should make the contact details of the ombudsman public. If the information isn’t available at the nursing home, you can call the police to request for it.

You can contact the police if your relative or other residents are at the risk of imminent danger or if there is an obvious case of abuse. The police may intervene in some cases to keep the care home residents safe. They will also investigate the case against the care home. Besides, you can report the suspected neglect to adults’ protective services.

File an Official Complaint

Reporting elder neglect and abuse to relevant authorities can force nursing homes to improve their practices. Besides, the reported facility may pay a fine for substandard care offered to its residents. The care home is likely to resolve the issues raised by relatives in the future to avoid penalties.

Consult an Attorney

nursing home abuse lawyer

Legal action may be the only option to make some care homes improve their substandard care. They will change for good if the trial threatens their continued existence in business or affects their profit. A neglected resident of a nursing home should be protected and deserves a financial settlement for the mistreatment. You may also receive compensation as the person’s relative.

You can claim emotional and physical damage for a loved one neglected in a care facility. Consulting a nursing home abuse attorney will help you determine if you can file a lawsuit against the care home. The lawyer will offer legal advice and help recover financial compensation for the neglected elder.

A nursing home abuse lawyer has experience in handling cases of mistreatment of elders in care facilities. Considering the evidence you presented, the attorney can sue the care home for any of the following:
– Negligence
– Elder abuse
– Breach of contract
– Negligent hiring
– Medical malpractice
– Care facility wrongful death

People place their elder relatives in nursing homes to keep them safe. However, it is best to take action if you notice that a care home is unsafe for your loved one. It will help if you are vigilant to notice possible signs of neglect or abuse in your loved one.

Protect Your Older Relative

If you notice that your loved one or other residents of a care home are neglected, take action to protect the victims. Never delay as the seniors may be in danger. You can help stop the wrong practices by reporting the case to the appropriate authorities. Besides, a nursing home abuse lawyer can help your relative get financial compensation for the facility’s negligence. Legal action against a nursing home will prompt the facility to take corrective measures.

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