No one wants to be in a position where they think that the steps they took to keep their loved one safe have led to pain and suffering. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know how good the care will be in a nursing home, so many people face situations where their loved ones have been injured and abused at the hands of those who were supposed to take care of them.
If you suspect nursing home abuse is taking place, you can take steps to put a stop to it and help your loved one. Here are three things to do right away.
- Bring your concerns to the director of the nursing home immediately
The first thing to do is to contact the director of the nursing home about your concerns. Let them know why you feel that abuse is taking place or what your loved one has experienced. Give them time to address the concerns you have. If they cannot satisfy you, then it’s time to move on to the next step.
- Talk to your loved one alone
Fortunately, most elders are allowed to leave the nursing home with their family members if they sign out and back in. This is a time where you should let the staff know that you’ll be taking them out of the nursing home, even if it’s just for a few hours, for an appointment or a day out.
When you have your loved one alone, talk to them about what has been happening. They may not have been comfortable talking to you in the facility, but once they’re outside, they could feel more confident.
If they’re unable to speak or communicate issues to you, make a plan to take them to a doctor for a physical, so you can have your concerns confirmed (or dismissed) by a medical provider.
- Call the police or 911
If your loved one is in immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 911 right away. If they are not in danger, it may be worth contacting the police in advance and asking them to meet you at the nursing home.
If there is immediate danger, 911 operators will send the police, fire teams and emergency medical technicians to help, so you can feel confident that your loved one will receive care quickly.
Nursing home abuse is unacceptable. If your loved one has been hurt, you should look into the legal options you have for pursuing a claim against the facility.