Denver, CO- If you have noticed your elderly loved one is exhibiting a few of the many signs they are being abused or neglected in their nursing home, you are probably angry, and understandably so. You are concerned about their safety, but you may not be aware of the steps you need to take to ensure their safety.
Nursing home abuse and neglect can cause an elderly person to suffer unnecessary and painful injuries or develop chronic health problem. Abuse and neglect erodes their physical and mental health so it is very important you take action immediately.
When you first suspect abuse, you need to ask the resident if they are being harmed. In most cases, they will be ready and willing to tell you if they have been mistreated in any way. However it is important to bear in mind that many nursing home residents are reluctant to tell even their family members if they are being abused. They fear they will be retaliated against or subjected to further abuse so many residents just suffer in silence.
If the abused elderly person suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s, they may not be able to remember the abuse but are exhibiting the tell-tale signs. When a nursing home resident suffers from cognitive disorders, their allegations are often not taken seriously. This problem can be combated by placing a spy-cam in their room.
Even when your loved one cannot or will not tell you there are being abused, your next step should be to raise concerns with management of the facility. If you believe your loved one’s life is in imminent danger, you should contact 911. This is also the time to consider moving your loved one to a different facility if you are financially and contractually able to do so.
Under federal law, nursing home administrators are required to address all concerns you have about your loved one’s care so an important step you should take is notify authorities at the nursing home where your loved one is living. In many cases, administrators are not aware abuse is happening and will take immediate corrective actions.
When you confront the facilities management, it is crucial you remain calm, and remember they have the presumption of innocence. They should be given the opportunity to investigate your allegations, and if you dispute their findings, it might be time to contact a Colorado nursing home abuse attorney to investigate.
When you speak a facility’s administrators, you could also ask if you can utilize a hidden camera to capture the abuse. These hidden cameras can give you proof that your elderly loved one is being harmed. Each state and each facility has different rules on using hidden cameras so it’s necessary for you get permission.
After you have notified administrators at the facility you should also contact the Colorado Long-Term Care Ombudsman, who will record your complaint so the allegations can be investigated. But be forewarned, in some states these investigations can take a long time to initiate, substantiate and follow up on.
Once you have lodged a formal complaint with facility management and the proper agency in your state, you are also advised to speak with a Colorado nursing home abuse attorney to determine if civil action is the appropriate action to take. In many cases, you can seek compensation for medical bills and the emotional suffering your loved has endured as a result of their mistreatment.