Nursing homes are tasked with a big responsibility: caring for our elderly loved ones. Yet, despite this fact, and the reality that the nursing home industry is subjected to extensive regulations aimed at safety, nursing home abuse and neglect occurs all the time. If you’re worried about this happening to your loved one, then you need to be diligent in observing signs of abuse and neglect so that you can follow up accordingly and take legal action as needed.
Signs of nursing home abuse or neglect
There are a lot of signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you’re concerned that you’re loved one is being mistreated in his or her nursing home, then consider taking these steps to investigate the matter further:
- Ask questions: If you see that you’re loved one has a new bruise, cut, or even a broken bone, start asking questions. How does your loved one respond? If he or she avoids the topic, then that’s a red flag. Ask nursing home staff what happened so that you can lock them into their story. Also, speak to other nursing home residents. They might have seen the incident or be able to provide valuable insight into the type of care usually provided at the facility.
- Obtain medical records: If your loved one has been injured or lost weight, then he or she has probably received some sort of medical care. By looking at his or her medical records, you might gain a better sense of what caused the medical condition in question. The doctor who treated your loved one might even be able to give a medical opinion.
- Document everything: Although no one hopes to end up in a lawsuit, you need to act as if one is inevitable if you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected. Take pictures, write notes, and retain all communications.
Do what you can to protect your loved one
Although nursing homes are supposed to be safe, far too often the burden is on residents and their families to ensure that safety measures are adequately adhered to on a consistent basis. Oftentimes the best way to hold a nursing home’s feet to the fire is to take legal action.
If you think that you and your loved one are at that point, then you might want to consider researching this area of the law further to determine your best course of action moving forward.