If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you want to make sure that they're well taken care of. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is something that happens all too often. If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to take action quickly. Here are four vital steps you should take right away.
Look for Signs
Signs of nursing home abuse aren't easy to find, especially if the staff is working hard to conceal the evidence. It's important to note that elder abuse doesn't always involve outward injuries. If you suspect nursing home abuse, you need to look for the signs that aren't as obvious, such as being asked to wait before heading back to your loved ones room for a visit during normal visiting hours, or finding that attendants remain within earshot throughout your visits. If these situations are occurring on a regular basis, you need to dig deeper.
Get Your Loved One Alone
It's not uncommon for loved ones to remain quiet about the abuse they're enduring, especially if they're afraid of their caregivers. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused by nursing home staff, you need to arrange some alone time. This is particularly important if the nursing home staff refuses to leave you alone during visits. Schedule a doctors appointment or a lunch date that will require you to take your loved one away from the facility for the day. This will give you the time you need to discuss your concerns with your loved one.
Notify Local Authorities
If you discover signs of abuse, notify local authorities. If you're concerned that your reports won't be taken seriously, obtain doctors reports relating to the abuse. Law enforcement officials will have an easier time investigating the abuse if they have medical reports to back up your claims. Once you've filed a report with local authorities, you'll need to find a new residence for your loved one.
Seek Legal Assistance
If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to seek legal assistance from a nursing home abuse attorney. Not only will obtaining legal assistance benefit your loved one, it will also benefit the other residences who may be suffering from abuse as well. Once you file a claim against the nursing home, other people will be made aware of the instances of abuse and will take action to protect their own loved ones.