Every year, there are close to 2 million cases of nursing home abuse. If you believe that a family member is a victim of this type of abuse, you are not alone and you have rights. Here's what you need to do.
1. Look for the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
There are multiple types of nursing home abuse including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, and the signs vary based on the type of abuse. Physical abuse often leaves scars, while sexual abuse results in soiled sheets and unexplained STDs as well as bruises.
If someone is the victim of emotional abuse, they may act scared when certain caretakers enter the room. Often, they pull away from loved ones because they have been threatened, and you may notice personality changes such as depression or anxiety. In cases of financial abuse, the elder may begin making unusual purchases, or you may start getting calls from collection agencies.
2. Speak to the Nursing Home Staff Very Cautiously
Don't necessarily speak directly to the nursing home management. Often they hide abuse, or may even be a part of the situation. Only reach out to the management if you truly feel that they have your loved one's best interest at heart.
3. Contact an Elder Ombudsman
Every state has elder ombudsman. These professionals work as advocates for people in long-term residential care. They know how to move forward in terms of approaching the nursing home staff and they can help you identify the best alternatives for your loved one.
4. Consider Contacting the Police
If you believe that your loved one is in serious danger, don't hesitate to call the cops. When someone is being hurt or molested, that can constitute assault or rape. Both of those are very serious crimes that should be reported. Note, however, if you don't have any proof and you don't think your loved one is in immediate danger, you may want to wait on this call.
Tragically, if the police come and don't find anything, your loved one may be at risk of retaliation from the abuser or the staff in general.
5. Make Alternative Arrangements
Your loved one deserves to be in a safe place. Consider taking them home with you and hiring a nurse if you have that capability. Alternatively, look for another care center.
6. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Finally, contact a personal injury lawyer. Abuse can require your loved one to need medical care. It can lead to emotional trauma that can make their life harder to live and less happy. Ultimately, all of this costs money and a personal injury lawyer can help to get your loved one the compensation and justice they deserve. Contact a law firm like Maruca Law to find a personal injury lawyer and help you loved one.