Every day families make the difficult decision of placing a loved-one inside a nursing home. Because they entrust these facilities to care for their loved-ones, it can be hard to imagine the situation of that person suffering from abuse or neglect. However, when faced with such a possibility, it is crucial for a family to understand the steps they should take to help protect a loved-one or seek accountability for the mistreatment he or she received.
Reporting Nursing Home Negligence For a Loved-One
Sometimes it is not necessary to immediately accuse a long-term care facility of purposeful neglect or abuse of a loved-one. There are certainly good-natured and well-trained staff at certain facilities that are truly concerned with providing the best care possible. However, there are always possibilities of undertrained staff at the best of facilities, and some nursing homes simply fail to provide a sufficient number of staff altogether. One of the first steps a family should take is raising their concerns with a supervisor or administrator of the facility. If the management’s concern is for the well-being of their residents, reports of neglect or mistreatment should spur them to rectify the situation. However, if it seems that concerns fall on deaf ears, then filing a complaint with the state long-term care ombudsman can hopefully open an investigation by regulatory agencies.
Documenting Neglect and Abuse For Nursing Home Residents
Documenting instances of abuse or neglect can not only provide justification for concerns you raise with a facility’s management but can also provide valuable assistance to a lawyer investigating the mistreatment. Pictures and videos of pressure ulcers, bruises, or unsanitary conditions paint a thousand words in providing real-life context to insufficient care found in a resident’s medical records. However, even documenting conversations with staff members or lack of steps taken to rectify the situation can be beneficial. Lastly, as a preventative measure, always keep copies of any materials or documents provided by the nursing home.
Where To Seek Legal Representation For Mistreatment
Seeking to hold a nursing home accountable for mistreatment of a loved-one can be intimidating. Quite often a facility will be reluctant to cooperate with family members raising concerns of abuse, and some nursing homes may even conceal or deny the evidence of such abuse. A family’s primary concern is often removing the resident from that environment or otherwise preventing the mistreatment from occurring. The process can be time-consuming and emotionally draining, which can cause many families to forgo consideration of legal redress. However, many don’t realize that in every state there is a time limit on how long after neglect or abuse occurs to begin a civil action. This period of time is called the statute of limitations and it varies in length. The questions of how long the statute is in your state and when it begins to run make it imperative to seek advice from a nursing home lawyer immediately. While you can never consult with a lawyer too early, doing so too late can permanently bar a claim. Understanding the inner workings of a nursing home, the regulations and standards that govern them, and what evidence you need to succeed requires lawyers who regularly handle those types of cases. If you suspect a loved-one may be the victim of abuse or neglect, then we encourage you to reach out Eric J. Hertz, P.C. to speak about your rights and recourse.