Nursing Home Abuse FAQ: My friend is in a nursing home and I believe they are being abused. I told the family about my concerns, but they did not seem to care. Is there anything I can do?

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If you believe someone you know is being abused or neglected in a nursing home you have a right and obligation to do something. A nursing home lawyer who pursues these kinds of complaints could be an acting official in the victim’s name. However, in most cases, the investigation initially begins with someone else.

In general, nursing home abuse or neglect is reported by someone who notices the wrongdoing rather than the actual victim. This is because most residents are elderly and cannot speak for themselves. Others are scared of the consequences, especially if they report a staff member or resident of causing them harm. Due to these circumstances, it is essential that someone speaks up for them.

If you think your friend, family member, or someone you know is in imminent danger while living in a nursing home, it is advisable to call the police or 911. There is no shame in making this call. If the police find that the person is in need of help, they will take the necessary steps needed. An official report will also be made.

On the other hand, if you believe their life is not immediately at risk, but you feel an investigation for abuse should be conducted, services are available. It is important to understand that when you suspect nursing home abuse, you be adamant about reporting it. By doing so, you may get the elderly person the care they need and act as a critical source for stopping the abuse. Bare in mind if you are a care professional at the nursing home, reporting abuse is beyond a moral obligation, it is a legal obligation. Failure to report the situation could result in criminal charges, license revocation, and more.

Government Services You Can Contact

Adult Protective Services – Every state has an Adult Protective Services Agency (APS). You should locate the contact details for the APS in your state and relay your concerns to them.

Long Term Care Ombudsman – All states also have a long term care ombudsman program which is designed to resolve a complaint and advocate for residents rights and their quality of care. This group can investigate the complaint and assist in making changes to prevent the situation from happening again.

The National Center on Elder Abuse – The NCEA has set up a hotline which allows you to speak with trained operators about the situation. They can refer you to your local agencies who can help. The Eldercare Locator hotline can be reached at  1-800-677-1116, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

Depending on your complaint, the severity of the abuse or neglect, how it has been reported, an to which agency, your report may remain confidential. This is especially advantageous for professionals who may be reporting abuse against an employer or college.

Proof of Abuse?

You don’t need any proof of abuse to call the agencies listed above. It will be up to them to investigate your complaint. You should have the name, address, and contact details of the alleged victim. You should also be ready to explain why you are concerned. You will likely be asked questions so the agency can gain a better understanding of the situation. In addition to this, you may be asked for your own contact details, you can choose not to provide these if you are concerned about your identity. Whomever receives your complaint is legally prohibited from releasing your personal information. They may also not be able to disclose your identity to the alleged victim or alleged abuser.

You can also call a nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia, PA offers who can advise you on what to do and how. If your friend or the person you know has a potential nursing home abuse claim, they can also provide you with the details on how to pursue compensation.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into nursing home law and what to do if you suspect abuse in your loved one’s nursing home.