Who Should I Contact First in Cases of Nursing Home Abuse?
It’s a situation no one ever wants to imagine: the realization that a loved one may be experiencing abuse or neglect in a place that’s supposed to ensure their safety and comfort.
Nursing home abuse is sadly a stark reality for some families, and discovering it can evoke a wave of emotions from anger to guilt. It’s absolutely vital to remember— this is not your fault. The key now is to act swiftly and effectively to protect your loved one against future abuses and hold those who committed the abuse accountable.
So, if you suspect nursing home abuse, who should you contact first?
Immediate Danger: Call 911
If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, always prioritize their safety. Don’t hesitate to call 911 because every second counts.
Local Adult Protective Services
Once the immediate danger is out of the way, you should report the suspected abuse to your state’s Adult Protective Services (APS) or its equivalent. They’re specifically designed to handle situations like these and can conduct investigations, offer services, and even take legal action when necessary.
The Nursing Home Management
It’s always a wise idea to speak directly with the nursing home’s management or administrator about your concerns. While it may feel confrontational, they need to be aware of the situation. They might be unaware of the incident, so bringing it to their attention could trigger corrective actions.
Consult an Attorney
If you’re not getting a satisfactory response or if the abuse continues, it might be time to consider legal action. An attorney specializing in elder law or personal injury can instruct you on the best course of legal action. They will help ensure that your loved one’s rights are upheld and that they receive the justice and protection they deserve.
Almost every state has a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. These ombudsmen advocate for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, and assisted living facilities. They can also provide valuable guidance and assistance in these heartbreaking situations.
A Few Words Before Wrapping Up
When nursing home abuse is discovered, it can feel impossible to know what to do next, and you may fear for your loved one’s safety should you take corrective actions.
It’s best to know that you’re not alone in this journey and that it’s absolutely okay to seek help, lean on others, and demand justice and safety for your loved one.
And most importantly, don’t be afraid to consult with a lawyer if you’re still unsure of your next legal steps. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney will help you through the long and complicated process of seeking justice for the damages caused to your loved one.
Remember, by acting out of love and standing up against abuse, you’re not just helping your loved one but anyone else who has suffered at the hands of their abuser too.