If you have recently learned that your loved one is the victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action as soon as possible. While you might feel overwhelmed, one of the first steps that you should take is contacting the police. The police can help your loved one by launching an investigation. They can also get a restraining order to prevent future abuse. They also can charge the at fault party with neglect and abuse to ensure that they do not harm anyone in the future. When contacting law enforcement, you should be as clear as possible with your information. Be sure to gather these 10 pieces of information before you contact them.
1. Information Regarding Your Loved One
One of the most basic and essential things that you should give to the police is information regarding the victim. Be sure to clearly provide your loved one’s name, contact information, medical history, current medical issues, and whatever else law enforcement asks for.
2. Information Regarding the At Fault Party
If you are aware of who has caused the neglect or abuse, be sure to provide that person’s information for the police. Give information such as name, contact information, job, and whatever else you know about the at fault party.
3. Information Regarding the Nursing Home Management
In addition to reporting information about the at fault party, you should also give information about the nursing management. Provide the name, address, phone number, and fax number of the nursing home’s director of operations, manager, owner, and/or nursing staff. This will help law enforcement contact these employees easily, if need be.
4. Information Regarding the Nursing Home
Providing information about the nursing home itself is also a good idea when contacting the police. Giving information such as the home’s address, phone number, and fax number will give them the resources that they need to help your loved one.
5. What Type of Abuse You Suspect
There are several different types of abuse that can occur. By narrowing down the type of abuse you suspect, it can help orient law enforcement and specify their investigation.
6. Why You Suspect Abuse
If you contact the police about a potential case of neglect or abuse, you need to explain why you suspect it. Provide any reasons that you have to suspect the abuse to help the police gather information and potential evidence.
7. What Evidence You Have Regarding the Abuse
The police will need evidence to charge and prosecute a criminal. Any evidence that you currently have should be reported to the police as soon as possible.
8. When the Abuse Occurred
There is a statute of limitations on abuse cases. Be sure to explain when the abuse occurred, if it was an isolated incident or if it is ongoing, and where it occurred when talking to the police.
9. If You are Aware of Other Victims of Abuse
If you know that other people have been abused in this nursing home, you should inform the police. These people may be willing to testify against the abuser and make the case stronger.
10. If Your Family is Willing to Testify Against the Abuser
Inform the police if your abused loved one or another family member would be willing to testify against the abuser. Having this knowledge will help the police understand how they should proceed with the case.
For more information on gathering evidence of abuse and contacting the police, download our free PDF checklist here.