Nursing home abuse is an all too common occurrence. It can take the form of verbal assault, physical abuse, sexual assault, neglect, emotional abuse, financial and/or material theft. When investigating nursing home abuse there is signs and symptoms that can play a significant role in determining whether nursing home abuse has taken place. We have listed a few of the more common signs of abuse and neglect.
Signs of Abuse
- Physical injuries (bruises, scars, broken bones, sprains)
- Seclusion or physical restraint that is not warranted
- Emergency medical treatment
- Lack of sanitary conditions in resident’s room or in nursing home facility.
- Personal items (cash, checks, jewelry, etc…) goes missing
- Intimidation, humiliation of resident
- Unwillingness to communicate around staff
- Withdrawal both physically and emotionally
Signs of Neglect
- Dehydration and/or Malnutrition
- Lack of medical care
- Constant accident occurring that are preventable
- Bed sores that are not treated
- Lack of sanitation and hygiene
Investigating Nursing Home Abuse
If you believe a loved one has signs of nursing home abuse it is important to first notify the individual in charge of the facility. Let them know of what you found and put them on notice to investigate and rectify the problem. In the event of a serious medical condition request a physician be brought in immediately. Then request for a full investigation and have them call you and provide you their findings both verbally and in writing.
You will then need to submit a formal complaint to the nursing home in writing, maintain a copy for your records. Next contact the local department of Social Services and ask for Adult Protective Services or Elder Protective Services.
Investigation of Abuse Claims by The State
Once the state is involved there is mandatory reporting at The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for any accusation of abuse, mistreatment or neglect. These accusations can include unexplained injuries and stealing of a resident’s property. All incidents must be reported directly to the administrator of the nursing home, the state survey and certification agency, and any other department mandated by each state’s laws.
The facility must in turn thoroughly investigate the abuse claim and provide evidence that the claim was investigated internally. The results of the investigation must then be reported to the administrator of the nursing home, state survey and certification agency, and other departments mandated by each state within five working days of the occurrence. If the investigation proves that abuse had taken place, the nursing home facility must take corrective action immediately.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
In the event a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, the family may wish to file a lawsuit against the facility. In the event a lawsuit is pursued it is imperative you seek counsel from an experienced Gainesville nursing home abuse attorney. An experienced attorney will help guide you through the process by collecting evidence, reviewing state laws, and filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit on behalf of the victim.
If you or a loved one has been injured or neglected by a nursing home facility you need an experienced, aggressive attorney on your side. Laurie Mitchell has almost 30 years of experience representing victims of nursing home abuse. If you feel any form of abuse or neglect has taken place call Laurie today for a free consultation (352) 371-9828.