When you make the decision to move an elderly loved one into a nursing home, it is normal to expect that your loved one will be treated kindly and with dignity, while receiving the appropriate level of care that he or she may need. Unfortunately, not all people are cut out to work in a nursing home facility, and it is possible for an elderly resident to suffer abuse by the hands of his or her caretakers. If you suspect nursing home abuse, take the following steps:
If you begin to suspect that your loved one may be suffering from abuse at his or her nursing home, it is important to begin taking notes. Write down the dates and times of your visit, and note any unexplained injuries or behavior that may be signs that abuse is occurring. If abuse is happening, this information can help determine exactly who may be abusing your loved one and can also serve as evidence if the case escalates.
Talk to Your Loved One
When you're worried about your loved one in a nursing home, make it a point to talk to him or her and ask questions. Your loved one may be able to provide insight to what goes on when family members are not present and give information about how caretakers treat residents. It must be noted that some people who are being abused in a nursing home may be afraid to talk about what is going on -- if you strongly suspect nursing home abuse, advocate for your loved one even if he or she will not talk about what is happening.
When you have evidence of nursing home abuse, don't waste your time talking to your loved one's caretakers -- confront the nursing home's director instead. The director should listen to you and launch an investigation to determine what is going on and who is doing the abuse.
Hire a Lawyer
In the event that the nursing home is not taking your claim seriously, you may need to hire a lawyer that specializes in nursing home abuse cases. Your lawyer will be able to help you contact the Adult Protective Services department in your state in order to file an official claim of abuse. If your loved one's case ends up going to court, your lawyer will be able to represent him or her and ensure that a strong case is presented. Contact a firm like Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC to learn more.