4 steps to take after a loved one is mistreated at their nursing home
The vast majority of nursing homes will do everything they can to ensure the care and well-being of senior citizens entrusted in their care, but there is always a risk and the potential for abuse when placing someone you care about into one of these homes.
If you have come to suspect potential abuse, it can be difficult to know what to do or who to turn to in this stressful and worrying situation. More often than not, if your loved one is experiencing abuse or mistreatment at their nursing home, it is likely that other residents are as well. The most important thing is that you should never ignore potential warning signs and you should take steps in order to rectify the situation.
Be attentive to any signs of potential abuse which may include cuts, scratches, bruises, or welts. If your loved one is coherent enough to remember and explain, be sure to ask them about what happened and how their injuries were caused. You can also ask your loved one directly if they have ever felt any abuse, mistreatment, or neglect by any member of the staff, although some individuals may not be willing to discuss the matter if they feel ashamed, embarrassed, or fear some sort of reprisal.
If any suspicious external injuries are visible, you should be sure to take photos to document the evidence, and be aware that some staff may attempt to explain away injuries, so don’t accept their word at face value. If your loved one can provide an explanation for what happened, be sure to document their story in writing.
Handle It Internally
In most cases where there have been instances of abuse, the managers of the nursing home are not aware that it is taking place. It is important to bring your concerns or suspicions to them directly, but be sure to maintain a calm and professional demeanor during these conversations.
Raising these concerns to management can allow them to rectify or handle the matter internally with staff that may be causing harm. But if you fear that your loved one may be in immediate danger, then you should call 911.
Handle It Externally
If you continue to see suspicious activity or no improvement after raising your concerns with management, then it may be time to involve a state agency. Every state has an Adult Protective Services unit which will investigate any signs of abuse of the elderly or incapacitated. In New York, you can call 1-844-697-3505 to report adult or elderly abuse.
You will need to provide the agency with the details of the complaint along with any documentation you may have collected.
Contact an Attorney
Finally, if you suspect a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or mistreatment, your next step is to speak with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney who can help you evaluate your loved one’s situation and who will walk you through which legal recourse may be available to you.
The team at Greenberg & Stein has more than 75 years of combined legal experience and has handled all types of nursing home abuse cases throughout New York City. While every case is different, you can be sure that we will fight for you and your loved one to ensure that they receive justice, because no one deserves to be harmed or mistreated while under the “care” of a nursing home.
We offer a free consultation and a 24-hour phone line, so don’t hesitate to call us if you suspect your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse in New York City. Call us today at 888-411-3966 to schedule your free legal consultation.