Steps to Take if You Suspect Your Loved One is a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse
Despite the federal and state regulations requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to provide high quality care and uphold rigorous safety standards, nursing home abuse and neglect has been a growing problem across the nation. Each year, thousands of nursing home residents are the victims of abuse by the staff charged with the task of providing them quality care.
If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important to start gathering evidence at once to support your case. You should take the following steps to ensure your loved one gets the help he or she deserves:
- Visit often, and make sure to vary the time of day you visit your loved one. This will enable you to observe differences in care provided by daytime, nighttime, and weekend staff.
- Speak to the nursing supervisor about any unusual activity you may observe. Make sure this conversation goes on record.
- If you suspect that bandages or dressings are not being changed with regularity, mark the date on the bandage and photograph it. This will help you document neglect in regular care. It is also important to document any bruises, cuts, or injuries by photograph so that you have evidence of these conditions.
- Pay attention to your loved one’s reaction when various nursing home staff members enter and leave the room. Does your loved one seem agitated, nervous, or scared?
- Keep a diary of your loved one’s condition, interactions with staff members, and any conversations you may have with nursing home personnel. It is important to note issues such as unchanged garments or dressings, bed sores, bruises, and any other evidence of improper care in this diary.
- Ask the nursing home to provide you with copies of your loved one’s personal and medical records.
- Contact the ombudsman. The effectiveness of the ombudsman program varies by state. In general, your ombudsman can be of assistance for minor problems, but he may not have the authority to take on more serious problems involving lack of care.
- File a complaint with your state’s Licensing and Certification agency responsible for overseeing your nursing home. They are legally required to investigate your complaint. If they find evidence to support it, they have the authority to issue a citation against the nursing home, levee a fine, and call for corrective action.
- Speak with an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer who can help you investigate your suspicions and advise you on legal remedies which will protect your loved one and compensate you for all damages.
The Phoenix nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Cullan & Cullan have been fighting for the rights of nursing home abuse victims for several decades. Our lawyers are also doctors, which enables us to more effectively evaluate your loved one’s medical records and injuries. We have the skills and background to provide you with both sound medical advice and aggressive legal representation which will help ensure your loved one receives the proper assistance and remedies.
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, please contact our Arizona nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation. We serve clients in Phoenix and throughout Arizona.