Taking Action Against Nursing Home Abuse
What should I do when I suspect nursing home abuse?
When you moved a loved one into a nursing home facility, you are trusting them to provide the best possible care to the person you love. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse are common issues in the U.S., often caused by inadequate or untrained staff.
If you begin to suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected by nursing home staff, it can be both frightening and intimidating. The law, however, is on your side, and with the proper resources, you can learn the truth, remove your loved one from a dangerous situation, and obtain legal justice.
Stay calm and be rational
When you begin to suspect nursing home abuse, it can be very easy to lose your temper, causing you to inappropriately handle the situation. It is imperative that you remain as calm as possible and rationally plan out your course of action. Jumping to conclusions and acting in anger can be catastrophic, and this is a situation that should be handled delicately.
Investigate the situation
- Take diligent notes, and document everything – From the moment you start suspecting the possibility of nursing home abuse, it is important to begin keeping organized, diligent records. Take note of any symptoms you recognize, discussions you have with your loved one and nursing home staff, the names of staff numbers you spoke with, and specific dates for each piece of evidence. It is also important to document the responses you received from questions you asked nursing home staff members. You should even take pictures of anything that seems awry.
- Talk to your loved one – When you have a private moment, ask your loved one how they feel and how they are being treated in the facility. If the nursing home staff does not allowed you to be alone with the resident, this should be a major red flag. Your loved one may be reluctant and afraid to admit being abused, so it is imperative to remain vigilant and continue your documentation.
- Discuss your concern with the nursing home staff – After beginning documentation and gaining your composure, it is time for you to professionally confront the nursing home’s staff and administration. It is possible you are unnecessarily concerned about your loved one, and you should be willing to hear out the nursing home staff, However, if the staff is rude or reluctant to adequately answer questions, your concern may be valid.
- Call the police – If your loved one is in clear and immediate danger, the fastest resolution, is contacting the police via 911. If the resident’s life is in danger, the police may immediately intervene, but at the very least, you will be able to file a complaint.
- Report the abuse – New Jersey has various protective services for nursing home facilities, and one of the best ways to report nursing home abuse is by contacting your area’s Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s duty is to thoroughly investigate complaints reported against long-term elder care facilities.
- Contact Sugarman Law – Nursing home abuse and neglect are illegal under federal and New Jersey state law. By contacting a knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer at Sugarman Law, you will be able to seek compensation for your loved one’s injuries, obtain a sense of justice, and hold the nursing home accountable for its reprehensible behavior.