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Discovering Nursing Home Negligence and How to Combat Abuse!


It is a sad but unfortunate truth that nursing home negligence exists in our world. While, thankfully, the majority of our families will never have to encounter this problem during our loved ones long term care life or during the use of nursing home aides. It's a sad but true fact that some families will be forced to deal with the fact that their family member was a victim of care home negligence. If you're unsure of what constitutes nursing home abuse search our database of articles to familiarize yourself with some signs of a nursing homes negligence.

It's unfortunate that many elderly persons are victims of abuse in care facilities every year and if you're an elderly person looking for long term care or are looking to place your elderly loved one in a long term care facility, it's always wise to be prepared. Prevention is the best measure! The first thing you can do is incredibly easy and is a great preventative measure for elder abuse in nursing homes. Simply visit your loved one at unsuspected times. The typical nursing facility will provide excellent service morning, noon, and night so switch up the times you visit if you suspect something is wrong. In other words, be inconsistent with your visits and "drop in" when you think they will least expect you. The nursing home industry has received a black eye because of past instances of nursing home abuse and neglect so the nursing home staff should be willing and able to give you updates on the resident's condition at anytime of the day. However, if the facility has a history of bad marks, they may show you and tell you one thing while keeping their skeleton's in the closet. So make sure you can visit "unexpectedly" at various times so you can make consistent observations.

It's unfortunate that elder abuse does happen and hopefully you've done enough research to choose the correct care facility from the start. However, but what do you do should you discover elder nursing home negligence.

When you discover abuse, contact an Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is an advocate of any person living in nursing facilities. They can tell you where to find quality facilities in your area and are trained to resolve problems with nursing facility care. If there are problems with the facility services, including abuse, improper treatment or neglect, inadequate assistance with personal hygiene, improper transfer or discharge of the resident, improper physical or chemical restraint, or excessively slow response to assistance requests, the Ombudsman can assist in resolving the problem.

Concerned family members, nursing facility residents, nursing home staff, prospective residents, or almost any concerned party can use the Ombudsman service. There is an Ombudsman service for each state in the United States, and can be contacted through the Administration on Aging.

A third option is to confront the nursing home administration, nurse supervisor, nursing facility social worker, or facility staff, and doctors with the problem. In some cases nursing home residents won't speak up in their own defense for whatever reason and all it will take to resolve the issue is taking the problem to an authority figure such as the acting head nurse. By all means though, if this course of action does not resolve the dispute, don't rely on this step alone, you'll need to try one of the other listed options.

All certified nursing facilities are licensed and another option is to contact your state's Licensing and Certification division to report your problem. They are required to investigate your request, and if they find in your favor the offending facility may be fined, cited, and be required to correct your issue. The state Department of Health also performs yearly surveys of nursing homes and will investigate complaints if reported. Your nursing home is required by law to provide you with their state licensing agency information if requested.

Finally, you can seek the services of a nursing home abuse lawyer. A nursing home negligence attorney will be quite familiar with nursing home law in your state and will be able to assist in resolving your dispute if you feel you require legal advice to do so. They can also help you explore some of the options presented in this article such as contacting your states licensing department or confronting the home's staff and administration.

Never forget you or your loved one pay for nursing home care and your loved one has rights as a resident. These rights include citizenship, dignity, privacy, freedom, expression, residence, the right to property, information, and care. If any of these rights are infringed upon or violated you are well within your rights to pursue any of the options presented here.

Experiencing nursing home negligence is something no resident should ever be subjected to, but by exploring the avenues presented in this article you can get justice for your loved one in such cases. Never assume the problem will take care of itself. Most times a resident will speak up for themselves, or another staff member may recognize and report abuse. However, even if this is the case, if you witness abuse it is your responsibility to make sure your loved one gets the care and respect they deserve. Search our database of articles if you'd like to learn more about resident's rights or any concern you may have with putting your loved one in a long term care facility.

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