How to Report Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse or negligence is an unfortunate yet common occurrence that causes physical, mental, and emotional harm to elder Americans around the United States every day. Examples of nursing home abuse range from the violent or harsh treatment from nursing home staff members to the facility’s failure to properly treat and care for its residents. Even though nursing home abuse is such a common occurrence, most cases often go unreported. Here, the team at the Law Office of Evan K. Thalenberg outlines how you can report nursing home abuse to protect your loved ones from a potentially harmful situation.
Where to Report Nursing Home Abuse
Even though most nursing home abuse incidents go unreported, there are a multitude of options that families can contact to report the abuse. One of the most common outlets is to contact your local police or law enforcement. Some families may choose to contact a medical expert that they already trust, such as a doctor or nurse, while others may choose to take their reports to the administration of the nursing home where the incident occurred. Another option is to contact a nursing home ombudsman. A nursing home ombudsman can serve as an elder’s representative, serve as the liaison between a nursing home facility and its residents, as well as advocate for a senior’s rights while living in a nursing home. Each state has a Nursing Home Ombudsman Advocacy Program, and you can locate one through the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center.
Other Options for Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
It is strongly recommended to report nursing home abuse as soon as possible or immediately after seeing signs of abuse or neglect. While calling 911 to contact the local authorities is the fastest and most crucial way to report abuse, there are a variety of other channels that families can utilize to report nursing home abuse. In addition to speaking with an ombudsman or a medical professional, families can contact the NCEA or the National Center on Elder Abuse. Even though the NCEA does not investigate specific reports of abuse, it offers guidance, advice, and a multitude of resources on how to file reports and proceed with nursing home abuse cases. Additionally, it is important to note that most abuse reports can remain confidential, as the fear of speaking out is what often keeps most residents from filing reports of abuse in the first place.
Signs & Evidence of Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence
It is extremely important to be able to recognize signs of potential nursing home abuse before following through with a report. The most common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Bruising, bleeding or bedsores
- Changes in emotions or behaviors
- Unusual financial transactions
- New infections or illnesses
If you have witnessed any of these signs regarding your loved one, you should document their occurrences in as much detail as possible. To document these warning signs, families can do so by observing any changes in their loved one’s behavior, taking pictures or videos of their injuries, or interviewing witnesses who may have seen the abuse take place first-hand. Having evidence of nursing home abuse can be extremely beneficial to filing a report, as having this evidence can provide you with a stronger claim.
Seek Help From a Nursing Home Negligence & Abuse Attorney
After filing a report of nursing home abuse, there are several steps you should then take to ensure the safety and care of your loved one. You may want to completely remove your loved one from the nursing home facility and provide them with the proper care and support that they need to recover. You should also contact a nursing home abuse and negligence attorney. A nursing home abuse attorney from the Law Office of Evan K. Thalenberg can provide you with the guidance and support your family needs to take legal action and pursue financial compensation. To learn more about the legal services that a nursing home abuse attorney can provide or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today by visiting our website or calling (410) 625-9100.