If you believe that a loved one or friend has been abused or neglected, take action at once. Start by notifying the nursing home administrator. Federal law requires them to report claims of abuse to state agencies which will assign investigators to the case.
You can also report your concerns to Ohio Adult Protective Services at 855-644-6277. In Pennsylvania report complaints or concerns to the Department of Aging by calling 1-800-254-5164 or by clicking here. In Florida report concerns to the Department of Children and Families abuse hotline by calling 1-800-962-2873 or clicking here. You may also contact the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program at 1-888-831-0404, 1-850-414-2323, or via email by clicking here.
While the mere report of abuse usually prompts administrators to immediately remove those suspected of mistreating a resident, if the offender can’t be identified right away steps must be taken to remove the resident from harm’s way at once. If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, contact the police and arrange for them to be moved to a local hospital until arrangements can be made with another facility.
Combining strategies to ensure proper care is the most effective way to prevent abuse and neglect. That process begins with the development of an individualized care plan based on a resident’s interests, personality, and health care requirements. The plan, which is mandated by the Nursing Home Reform Act, should also identify the staff members who are responsible for carrying out specific tasks. Under both state and federal law the plan must be documented so that you can ensure it is being implemented properly. Obtain a copy of the plan, check records regularly, maintain contact with nurses and doctors, and participate in all care plan meetings. Whenever new employees become responsible for your loved one’s care you should immediately ask to see their credentials and their background report.
Finally, it is also important for you to help your loved one stay connected to family, friends, and other residents because isolation increases the risks of abuse.
Taking these steps and remaining actively involved in your loved one’s life will go a long way toward enhancing their nursing home or assisted living experience.
But if you do see signs that your loved one has been injured as a result of abuse or neglect, don’t delay. Contact Betras, Kopp & Markota immediately by calling 330-746-8484 or 800-457-2889 or using the contact form on this page to set up a free initial consultation. We’ll listen to your concerns, evaluate the situation, give you our best advice, and fight to protect your loved one.