Nursing homes are meant to provide the most vulnerable members of our society with the care that they deserve during their later years. Unfortunately, as the population of elderly adults in the United States increases, so do the allegations of nursing home abuse. The type of abuse that occur in assisted living facilities is often difficult to prove, especially when the victims have difficulties expressing themselves verbally or in writing. Even when a family or friend feels certain that abuse or neglect is occurring, they may not be aware of their options. Knowing how to handle nursing home abuse suspicions can make the difficult task of proving that abuse has taken place easier.
Even though nursing home abuse often manifests in the form of your loved one’s physical or mental deterioration, there are other signs. Often, the state of the facility itself will serve as a sign that abuse or dangerous neglect is occurring. Are the bathrooms, kitchens, and dining areas of the facility clean? If they are not, that should serve as a serious warning since failing to maintain sanitary conditions in a facility that houses people with weakened or compromised immune systems is dangerous. While a facility may take steps to keep visiting areas clean, if they are not taking time to keep areas used for food preparation and personal hygiene sanitary, they may be neglecting other vital duties.
If you begin noticing that your loved one is losing weight, not being cleaned properly, has unexplained bruises, or is not being given medication, do what you can to document what you are seeing. Take pictures and videos of physical harm and dangerous or unsanitary living conditions. Record the names and contact information of any witnesses along with detailed accounts of conversations you have had with employees. Being able to cite the exact dates and times that you have witnessed abuse or neglect makes it easier to establish a pattern and show that you have been carefully observing the abusive treatment.
Once you have gathered enough information to make you certain that your loved one is being abused at a nursing home, take immediate steps to remove him or her from the facility. If you decide to move forward with filing a complaint or taking any other type of substantial action against the facility, leaving your loved one there places him or her at risk of retaliatory actions. When the situation is an emergency, do not be afraid to call 911 and have your family member taken to a hospital, especially if the neglect and abuse has led to medical problems that jeopardize his or her physical health.
After you have recognized that there is a problem, gathered evidence, and removed your loved one to a safer location, it is time to talk to an attorney. A nursing home abuse attorney is able to discuss your concerns and help you determine the best course of action. The David Bell Law Firm understands how serious the health and wellbeing of your elderly loved ones are. Our team will work with you to ensure that they receive the justice and zealous representation that they deserve. Contact us today at our conveniently located Augusta, Georgia office so that we can begin providing you with the legal assistance that you need.