A reputable nursing home in California should give you comfort in knowing that a team of professionals is always available to ensure your family member’s safety and well-being. Unfortunately, a facility that does not meet your expectations can be disappointing.
It can also endanger a loved one who experiences abuse at the hands of caretakers.
What are the signs of nursing home abuse?
Blatant physical abuse may involve the infliction of direct trauma to your loved one through hitting, biting and kicking. It can also take the form of neglect that appears as inexplicable bed sores, skin rashes, tooth decay, and hair and weight loss. These conditions indicate that your loved one is not receiving appropriate physical care.
Emotional abuse is more challenging to recognize but can change your relative’s demeanor and personality, manifesting fear, anger, depression and behavioral changes. Nursing home residents who fear retribution may attempt to conceal this abuse from their families.
Finally, residents who continue to report missing items or do not recognize unusual activity on their financial accounts may be victims of nursing home abuse targeting their resources.
How should you report abuse?
You may begin by notifying a nursing home administrator about your concerns. Still, filing a formal complaint with California’s Department of Public Health is critical for investigating your allegations. You should also alert your local ombudsman, who can research your complaint in person and coordinate with other agencies to find an acceptable solution. Notifying the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse and your local government officials who influence nursing home regulations and licensing can help prevent future victimization. However, do not hesitate to file a police report if your relative is in imminent danger.
When you suspect nursing home abuse, protecting your relative requires urgent intervention.