7 Steps to Take If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
When someone is placed in a nursing home, we expect them to be given quality care. After all, that’s what nursing homes are for: to give a level and quality of care that the resident’s family is unable to provide themselves.
Most nursing homes can and do provide quality care for their residents. If, however, you suspect nursing home abuse, you should take action. Here’s what you should do:
- Be Rational
When your loved one is in a nursing home and you suspect abuse, it’s easy to get angry and lose your temper. However, it is important for your loved one that you remain calm and seek a resolution to the situation in a reasonable manner.
- Bring Your Concerns to the Staff First
What you perceive as abuse may not be abuse at all. You should be willing to hear the staff out before taking further action. If they are unable or unwilling to explain the situation satisfactorily, you will want to look into more formal action. Nursing home management should be willing and able to explain any situation you see as possible abuse or neglect, whether it pertains to your loved one directly or not.
- Communicate with Your Loved One
Ideally, you should speak to him/her privately. If the nursing home management will not allow this, you will want to take further action. Report the suspected abuse and/or seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse and neglect.
- Ask Questions and Take Notes
Quality caregivers will not mind your questioning as long as you are respectful and reasonable. Take and date written notes of anything you see that is amiss. Take pictures, get names and job positions of the people you speak to, and talk with coherent residents who are willing to talk with you and who may have information about the incident.
- Call the Police If There is Clear Abuse and/or Imminent Danger
If there is clear-cut abuse, or if you have reason to believe a nursing home resident is in imminent danger, call the police immediately. Police may need to intervene to ensure the safety of nursing home residents.
- Report all Suspected Elder Abuse or Neglect
Call the Montana Adult Protective Services office for your area or visit https://dphhs.mt.gov/sltc/aps to determine the correct office. You can also contact the National Center on Elder Abuse at 1-800-677-1116.
- Consult a Lawyer
If a nursing home resident or your loved one is being abused or neglected, they are entitled to protection. They may also be entitled to compensation under the law. Depending on your relationship to the person being abused or neglected, you may also be entitled to compensation. Reporting abuse and neglect is essential, but most abusive facilities do not change unless formal legal action is taken that affects their profit margins or their ability to remain in business.
If you have reason to believe a nursing home resident is being abused or inadequately cared for, take action sooner rather than later. If you or a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, contact the lawyers at Edmiston & Colton Law Firm to learn your legal rights and determine if you have a case. Visit Edmiston & Colton Law firm at www. YellowstoneLaw.com or call (406) 259-9986.
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