Nursing Home Abuse
As horrifying as it sounds, there is a tremendous amount of nursing home abuse that happens each year. It happens in many different ways and can range from financial abuse to physical and emotional abuse. This is definitely appalling, and it is often due to the fact that seniors and disabled people are some of the most vulnerable in modern society. Without round the clock advocates, it can be easy enough for someone without ethics, decency or morals to take advantage or do serious harm.
Clearly, there are laws in place to prevent abuse from happening, and yet it is still a growing concern. This is because it is often difficult to detect or to prove, and often the guilty parties are able to provide excuses as to why certain things occur. The elderly patient unable to speak and who has some bruises or who refuses to eat may be suffering nursing home abuse or neglect, and yet their abuser may try to cover it up.
This is one of the reasons that anyone who fears that such abuse is occurring should take action immediately. The first step is to speak directly with the management, but it is also advisable to speak with a legal expert, as well. They can help you to understand all of the options and make all of the right choices.
Some of the Problems
It is important to remain calm if you suspect that something is going wrong in a nursing home setting. A common clue that all is not well is when you are never left alone with a loved one or when a loved one seems fearful to speak about daily life or something that is troubling them. If that is the case, speak with them about it to see if you can get further details. If not, it is time to make an appointment with management, and try to do so that very day.
You will also want to speak with an attorney and they will be able to advise you of the next steps. For example, they may tell you to document things in order to be able to file a nursing home abuse complaint. This could include a time line of events, images, and details about your conversation with the staff and the management. If you are not local, it is even more important to speak with an attorney as they can usually stand in as a power of attorney for you and deal with documentation, reports, questions, and more.
Though you may feel a deep sense of panic if you suspect nursing home abuse, you should rest assured that you have options, and of course the law is always on the side of any victim. It will always have to be a case of innocent until proven guilty, but you can make sure that your family member is as safe as possible when you have reviewed all of the details with an attorney.
Together you can review the written policies and standards of care, you can determine if you must file a complaint with the local agency or even if you should contact the authorities. It is horrible to even imagine that your loved one is not being treated properly or safely in their home, and yet it could be a simple misunderstanding. Acting immediately is always the best option, but also acting with the guidance and skill of an experienced attorney is best as well.
At Heavens Law you can discuss your case and learn what steps you should take when you fear that some sort of nursing home abuse is occurring.
- NursingHomeAbuseCenter.org. Legal Rights. 2014. http://www.nursinghomeabusecenter.org/legal-rights.html