Keep Mom Safe: How to Report a Nursing Home for Elderly Abuse

Almost 1.4 million people live in nursing homes in the US. The majority of these residents are elderly individuals, many of whom are in a fragile and vulnerable state.

That might explain why there are over 2 million cases of elder abuse reported each year. What's worse, one out of every ten nursing home residents will experience some form of elder abuse. If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, these statistics can be frightening. After all, you want the staff to treat your loved one the same way you would! But, if you suspect your loved one is being abused, what should you do?

Below we've got the facts to help you report a nursing home. Our guide will give you the skills and knowledge needed to protect your loved one. Read on for more information.

What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

As shown above, nursing home abuse does occur. Most of the time, though, the abusive behavior goes unreported.

Seniors with physical or mental incapacities may not have the money to stand up for themselves. Also, some seniors who recognize the abuse may be afraid to report it for fear of retaliation.

The most important thing you can do to protect your loved one from nursing home abuse is to visit them as often as you can. These regular visits will give you a better chance of noticing any potential abuse.

Elder abuse can take many forms. Some things to look out for are:

  • Bedsores
  • New, unexplained bruises, especially near the genitals
  • Bleeding
  • Physically uncomfortable
  • Sudden, unexplained viruses or infections
  • Emotionally withdrawn
  • Behavioral changes
  • Silence when caretakers are around
  • Financial red flags, like changes in your loved one's will or power of attorney, also unpaid bills

If you notice any of these red flags, you need to investigate their cause. In the next section, let's go over how to report nursing home neglect. Let's go!

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

If you notice any of the above signs, it's important to take steps right away. Of course, if your loved one is in danger or a critical state, don't hesitate to call 911.

Otherwise, your first step is to document any signs of abuse or neglect:

  • If you notice any changes in your loved one's behavior, write down your observations.
  • If possible, get a written statement from your loved one.
  • Try to get written statements from witnesses.
  • Take pictures of any bruises or injuries.

Elder abuse is difficult to prove. The more hard evidence you have, the better chance you have of helping your loved one.

File a Grievance With the Nursing Home Itself

Make sure to file a written record of your grievance with the nursing home. Yes, it's easier to call the facility. But, the more documented proof you have, the better chance you have of resolving the situation for your loved one.

Try to include as many details in your grievance as you can. Dates, times, and the personnel involved will all help your case.

You may also want to contact your loved one's doctor. They can help you identify signs of abuse, which will back up your claims.

After you file your grievance, you may hear from a nursing home representative. Be calm and polite but firm. If they allege no abuse occurred, you still need to find out where the suspicious bruises, etc., came from.

Most nursing homes will conduct an internal investigation after you notify them of abuse. You should hear back from them within 30 days. If not, contact the facility again.

Consult An Attorney

If you're not satisfied with the nursing home's response, you can consult an attorney. A nursing home abuse attorney will be familiar with state and federal laws regarding elder care.

They can advise you about your particular situation and let you know what options are available. What's more, most elder law attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don't have to pay them right away.

Wrapping Up How To Report a Nursing Home

Let's hope you never need the information in this article, but if so, you now know how to report a nursing home. After all, you want to keep your loved one safe and happy!

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out our blog? We can help you design an exercise program for the elderly or plan party games for seniors! You're sure to find something useful and interesting!!

 

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