When our loved ones get older, we often decide to admit them to a nursing home. They are supposed to be able to provide care and attention for them around the clock. However, unfortunately this does not always happen. All too often, nursing care staff neglect to provide the proper care that is necessary for the elderly. There are state and federal laws in place that attempt to regular nursing care and prevent issues like these. However, they are not always surefire methods of preventing nursing home abuse.
Determining whether or not your loved one’s nursing home is engaging in such abuse can be a complex, tiresome process. To learn more about investigating nursing home abuse, view the related article here.
Nursing home abuse is a problem often difficult to define and identify. As a result, it often goes unreported to any authority figure. Thus, the same problems continue and the situation can worsen — all without anyone finding out. Since the elderly are checked into the nursing home under the expectation that comprehensive care will be provided, their loved ones may not frequently check up on them. This makes it unlikely that they notice any changes in the appearance or behavior of their loved ones. To make matters worse, many patients suffer from memory loss and other communication problems, resulting in a further lack of communication to their loved ones.
Most research shows that the majority of nursing home abuse cases go unreported. Given this fact, one would assume that the rates of reported nursing home abuse are very low. Unfortunately, this is not the case — according to a two-year study by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, around 30 percent of nursing homes are found to have violations. This staggering statistic accounts for the following, most common nursing home violations:
- Poor hygiene
- Lack of medical services
- Preventable accidents
Reporting nursing home abuse is not always an easy task. Even if abuse is suspected and reported successfully, actually proving it is a much more difficult job. To report nursing home abuse, one should contact the Eldercare Locator by calling 1-800-677-1116. This number is open during the weekdays, and can provide the caller with specific state laws and other information that apply to the case. Further, to find the proper authorities to specifically report this abuse to, use the state resources page of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). This page is created by the Administration of Aging (AoA), and will provide hotline numbers, addresses, and websites that relate t0 your issue. Next, it is important to contact the elder’s primary health care doctor, given they are not a part of this abuse. Ask them for professional guidance on how to proceed with your nursing home abuse case. Finally, you may want to contact a medical malpractice attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse. They can help you obtain damages for the elder and determine how to best proceed with the case.