If your loved one lives in a nursing home, you expect the facility to provide excellent care. Unfortunately, this is not always what happens. Sometimes, your worst nightmare comes true-someone you know and love becomes a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse.
When you hear about or personally witness abuse in an adult care facility, you may wonder what you should do. Here are some important steps you should take if you want to report nursing home abuse.
1. Document the incident(s)
First things first-compile any evidence you have. Write down what you know, whether you saw it yourself or simply notice warning signs. For example, if you saw assault take place, write down what you saw, the room number it took place in and the date and time of the event. You should notify law enforcement if someone is in immediate danger. If you notice some red flags of abuse or neglect, such as a sudden change in weight, poor hygiene, random injuries or bedsores, write down all of them.
2. Take note of any witnesses
Witness statements may prove to be invaluable later, especially if you need to file a grievance or lawsuit against the facility. Document the names of any staff members or administrators who were on duty, especially those who were in the area. Other residents of the nursing home may have been there too.
3. Get legal help
What you do next depends on a variety of factors, including the details of the case and how the law applies. Before you talk to a supervisor or employee at the nursing home or file a complaint, you should talk to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. A lawyer will tell you the best method for resolving the issue, including whether it is worth it to file a lawsuit against the elder care center.
It is troubling to learn that nursing home abuse is taking place, but taking these three steps will get you on track to resolving the problem.