Today, nursing homes act as safe havens for the elderly. They are homes that provide elderly adults with comfort as well as caretaking and healthcare needs their families may no longer be able to provide.
While placing elderly adults in a nursing home comes with myriad benefits, it can also come with many challenges. One serious problem in our society is elderly abuse or neglect in nursing homes. Sadly, these are facilities families rely on to provide care for the elderly and to keep their vulnerable loved ones safe.
Many seniors who require care are either physically frail or have diminished mental capacity, leaving them unable to stand up for themselves. Because of this, they could end up as victims of abuse by the staff of a nursing home.
What to Do if Your Loved One Has Been a Victim
If anyone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important that you report the incident to the facility’s administration. This may seem like a daunting task, but these steps will help you out.
Notify the Nursing Home’s Administration
Just like any other health care facility, a nursing home offering medicare to the elderly is stipulated by law to have a clear grievance procedure. You can start by finding information about the procedure on the pamphlet provided to you or your loved one upon admission.
If you can’t find this information on the procedure from the manual, ask the facility to provide you with written documentation of their policies. You will want to fill out a grievance report according to their procedures, using as much detail as possible. Medicare offers a nursing home complaint form template that will make it easier.
Once you submit your grievance, you should receive a reply from the facility within ten days. This can be communication about the next steps to take or a rundown of the standard channels for making a complaint.
File a Complaint With a State Agency
Regardless of your current state, there are designated agencies that are mandated to investigate and respond to complaints related to elderly abuse. Every agency has a different procedure for handling these cases. They may also have a different level and scope of investigating complaints.
If you decide to file a complaint with your state’s agency, it’s paramount to contact the agency ahead of time. Doing so will give you a clear understanding of the procedures you will be required to follow and your case’s possible outcome. Be sure to give the state agency as much detail as possible as well.
Why it May Be Best to Hire a Lawyer
Proving a case of abuse against a nursing home can be quite difficult. Therefore, hiring an attorney may be your best chance at seeing that justice is done on your loved one’s behalf.
The vast majority of personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis. This means they won’t be paid until the case is settled or an award has been won in court.
However, you should always remember that many nursing home lawsuits have a very short statute of limitations. The statute of limitations you must follow will depend on where you live because the laws are different from state to state. Therefore, once you know of abuse, you should act swiftly. You can click here to learn more about legal case results.
Our elderly loved ones deserve better than to be subjected to neglect and abuse. While you may want to move your senior family member to a new facility and put it all behind you, it is still important that you file a complaint against the home where the abuse took place. It is only through being held accountable that we can force these facilities to raise their standards.