When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you never expect that they will be the victim of neglect or abuse. After your thorough research, interviews, and visiting process, you may feel that you have found the perfect home for your elderly loved one. However, even in the best nursing homes, things can go wrong. The good news is that now that you know that abuse has taken place, you can get your loved one out of this situation. After discovering neglect or abuse, take these 10 steps to protect your loved one.
1. Talk to Your Loved One
Your loved one has just gone through a difficult and traumatic experience. While every person deals with neglect and abuse differently, you should provide support at this time. You don’t necessarily have to go into the specifics of what happened right away, but you need to discuss the basics of the abuse and how your loved one wants to proceed. You should discuss the possibility of therapy, contacting the police, and filing a personal injury claim with your loved one.
2. File a Written Complaint with the Nursing Home
If you suspect neglect or abuse, and you want to take action against the nursing home, you will have to file a written complaint with the home. This can be a time consuming process, so it is best to file the complaint as soon as possible.
3. Contact the Authorities
If neglect and abuse have occurred, you should seek professional help as soon as possible. To protect your loved one and ensure that justice is served, you should inform the police of what has happened.
4. Get Your Loved One Out of the Home
As soon as possible, you should remove your loved one from the dangerous situation. Sometimes, getting your loved one out of the home can be a complex process. They may have signed a contract stating that they will stay in the home for a certain period of time. The discharge process can also take longer than you may like. Begin the process of having your loved one removed from the home as soon as possible, and contact a lawyer if you need assistance.
5. Seek Emotional Help
Your loved one is clearly dealing with deep emotional issues after being the victim of neglect or abuse. You need to get them physical and emotional help. Whether emotional support comes from your family, a professional, or both, your family needs to make this decision.
6. Write Everything Down
If your family plans on pressing charges against the at fault party, you need to begin gathering evidence of neglect or abuse. As soon as possible after the neglect or abuse, your loved one should establish the details of the event(s). Writing it down now will help recall details later on.
7. Visit a Doctor
Again, when establishing the neglect or abuse, it is important to find evidence. Visiting a doctor to document any injuries can help with a court case.
8. Gather Evidence
Find other pieces of evidence that can be used to support your loved one’s argument in court.
9. Hire a Lawyer
Chances are that you and your family do not have the experience and knowledge of elder injury cases to truly get justice for the victim. A lawyer can help you gather evidence, answer your questions, and represent you in court.
10. Decide if You Want to File a Lawsuit
You should talk with a lawyer and your family about the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your loved one’s injuries. While this option is not right for everyone, it can be a good option for your family.