3 Steps To Take If You Suspect Abuse Of Your Elderly Parent In A Nursing Home
Do you have an elderly parent living in a nursing home? Do you suspect that they are being neglected, abused, or mistreated in some way? Nursing home abuse can be hard to prove because you're not there all the time. It's especially difficult if your parent is suffering from Alzheimer's or other forms of cognitive decline. You may not know whether their stories are accurate or not. In some cases, an elderly parent may be afraid to disclose abuse or neglect.
Below are three steps you can take if you suspect abuse or neglect in your parent's nursing home. It's always important to gather as much information as possible so you can back up your claims and suspicions. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you with this process:
Take your suspicions to the nursing home director.
The nursing home director is always a good place to start, especially if you suspect the abuse or neglect is from one specific employee and is not representative of the entire facility. Nursing homes turnover staff quickly. It's very possible that there is one bad employee in the group and the director has no idea. Or perhaps that employee is already on probation for other instances and your report will help the facility take action to report them.
At the very least, the director should provide reports and documentation about your parent's care. They also may let you be in the facility more frequently to observe how your parent is treated. They should work with you to address your concerns. If they appear defensive or standoffish, that may be more reason for concern.
Pull your parent from the home.
You always have the option to pull your parent from the home and move them somewhere else. However, this isn't necessarily an easy step. You may have a lease at the current home that you will have to break. You could have to pay a new deposit at the new home or other fees. And of course, there's no way to truly know that the new home will be better than the current one. Ask for referrals from other families who are there about the type of care that their parent receives.
File a lawsuit.
If the abuse or negligence is severe, you have the option to file a lawsuit. This could help you cover any fees associated with moving, medical bills, and other expenses related to your parent's suffering. In many cases, a nursing home would rather settle and resolve the issue rather than take it to court and suffer bad publicity. Of course, if you go this route, you will need substantial evidence like documentation, pictures, videos, doctor's reports, and much more. You may even need to file police reports.
Contact a nursing home abuse law firm in your area such as Williams & Swee today to learn more. They can help you start the process of investigating the abuse and collecting evidence, and then decide what the best steps are for your parent.