It can be a difficult decision to move an elderly loved one to a nursing home. You may be comforted by the thought that they will have the facilities and staff to provide proper care and supervision necessary for their wellbeing. However, on the other hand, you may have concerns whether the staff members are trained and qualified, and are supervised to ensure they do not engage in any form of nursing home neglect or abuse. Having such concerns is valid, considering the fact that every 1 in 3 nursing homes have been reported for elderly abuse.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
When you go to the nursing home to pay a visit to your loved one, make sure you look for any signs of neglect or abuse. More often than not, the elderly are unable to communicate how they are being treated. Here are some common signs you should look out for to determine whether your loved one is a victim of neglect or abuse:
- Bleeding Wounds
- Lack of Hygiene
- Lack of medical aids
- Lack of nutritional food
- Obvious Changes in Behavior
- Presence of Bedsores
- Room is dirty, cluttered, or in disrepair
- Unexplained Infections or Diseases
- Unpaid bills
- Withdrawal from social contact
If you see any of these signs, it is important that you take action and report the nursing home as soon as possible.
How to Report Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
Once you have confirmed the signs of neglect or abuse, it is your duty to report the nursing home, for the sake of not only your loved one, but the other elderly as well. To do so, you can contact local or state authorities of your jurisdiction through these methods:
- Dial 1-800-677-1116 to get in touch with the Eldercare Locator. Be sure to call on weekdays during their business hours to find out information that may apply to your case.
- Each state has an Adult Protective Services agency that has a hotline for people to report abuse. If you report the abuse through APS, you will trigger a thorough investigation of the nursing home to evaluate the validity of your claim. The process may involve law enforcement if there is any criminal activity suspected.
- There is also a Long Term Ombudsman Program in each state that offers residents of nursing homes with advocates who can resolve their problems and work to enhance the quality of their care. These services are generally free of cost.
- If you think it is a serious case, you may call 911 immediately. However, it is better to follow the above methods to ensure that problem is handled in the right way.
If you notice any signs of nursing home neglect or abuse, time may be of the essence because of the fragile state of the victims. It is best to work with a nursing home neglect attorney to get legal guidance and expedite the process. Contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. for a free consultation at 815-315-0594.