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4 steps to take if you suspect nursing home abuse

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Nursing Home Abuse |

As our loved ones age, ensuring their well-being becomes a priority.

Unfortunately, reports of nursing home abuse have become more prevalent, demanding immediate attention. If you suspect mistreatment in a nursing home, it is important to take decisive steps to protect your family member.

1. Observation and documentation

Begin by closely observing any changes in your loved one’s behavior, physical appearance or emotional state. Keep detailed records of these observations, including dates and times. Take note of unexplained injuries, sudden weight loss or signs of neglect such as poor hygiene. Thorough documentation will provide a solid foundation for addressing your concerns.

2. Speak with nursing home staff

Directly address your concerns with the nursing home staff. Choose a time when they are not busy and calmly express your worries. Provide specific examples from your documentation to support your claims. Request a care plan review and ask for clarification on any discrepancies. Maintaining a respectful and open line of communication is crucial to resolving issues.

3. Contact the nursing home administration

If your concerns persist, escalate the matter to the nursing home administration. Share your observations and conversations with staff, emphasizing your commitment to resolving the issues collaboratively. Request a meeting to discuss your concerns in-depth and seek assurance that they will take corrective actions.

4. Reach out to external authorities

If the situation does not improve or worsens, it may be necessary to involve external authorities. Contact your local adult protective services or the state’s ombudsman program to report suspected abuse. Provide them with the documented evidence and details of your attempts to address the issue internally.

Every year, approximately 5 million older adults face abuse. Addressing suspicions of nursing home abuse requires a methodical approach to help safeguard your loved one’s well-being.