Once noticed, the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect must not be overlooked. If you suspect that something is wrong in your loved one’s facility, it may be difficult to know what to do next. We’ve developed the following guide to help you navigate your options.
Determining Whether Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect Are Occurring
The first step is to remain calm. Your loved one may be in no danger at all. If you believe that your loved one’s life is being threatened with imminent harm, call 911 immediately.
Know The Signs Of Elder Abuse And Neglect
We’ve written up extensive lists of the common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. Follow the links below to learn what to keep your eyes open for:
Talk To Your Loved One
Communicating with your loved one may be essential to determining whether a problem exists, and its extent. Even so, many victims of elder abuse and neglect are not forthcoming with the truth. They may be mentally incapable of accurately describing their situation, or may be bullied into silence by their abuser. If possible, ask your loved one about their environment and whether they are being treated with compassion and the proper attention.
After You Suspect Elder Abuse Or Neglect
Confront Nursing Home’s Administration
Elder care facilities are legally responsible for addressing any concerns you may have. Understand that, in confronting a nursing home about possible abuse or neglect, you are not yet pursuing legal recourse against them. Allow the nursing home’s manager or on-staff supervisor to offer an explanation, or investigate the situation further.
File A Complaint
If their response is not satisfactory, or your loved one’s condition gets worse, it’s in your best interest to file a complaint with the correct state agency. To learn who to contact in Pennsylvania, please visit the National Center on Elder Abuse’s State Resource Directory.
Before doing so, make sure you have documented every step of the process thus far. This documentation should include:
- A written explanation of your accusation’s basis
- Photographs, if possible, of any physical signs of nursing home abuse or neglect
- Any members of the nursing home staff with whom you spoke, when, and their response
- Management’s follow-up, if any
Contact A Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect Lawyer
Before following the steps listed above, it may be prudent to contact a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in your area. Making an accusation of elder abuse or neglect is a serious matter, with many legal implications. It’s best to consult an experienced attorney before deciding on the appropriate course of action.
The attorneys at PA Nursing Home Lawyers have dedicated their careers to protecting the rights of elderly residents affected by nursing home abuse and neglect. For a free consultation, please call (215) 563-2499 or complete our online contact form.