Nursing home neglect and abuse can be a very scary and overwhelming experience. You may feel like you are at fault for the condition of your loved one. Or, you might feel that you could have done something differently to prevent their situation. This is not the case! Family members of victims of neglect and abuse are never at fault.
If your loved one was treated cruelly, you are not to be blamed, the abuser is. If your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, there are resources to help them heal.
Therapy or Counseling Resources
Your loved one may find it helpful to talk about the neglect or abuse that has taken place. This may be the first step in returning to their pre abuse and neglect lifestyle. Therapy can be both healing and enable victims to discuss what happened to them. It will help many victims realize that they are not at fault. Also, they will know that there was no way for them to stop or prevent the abuse.
Your loved ones may find it helpful to open up about what happened in order to move on from it. This option may not be viable for some with limiting medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. But, it can be a good option for those with a full mental capacity.
Group Counseling Resources
This can be very helpful, especially with the support of others.
Finding comfort in those who have been in a similar situation to your loved one’s can enable you to feel comfortable and secure. This can help as you begin to rehash the events that occurred and express how they effected you both mentally and physically.
Though therapy may be for some, others may choose a different route. This route may involve strictly legal actions. There are two options, a civil case and a criminal case.
The first step once you suspect nursing home abuse is to file a complaint or report with the nursing home. If criminal actions are occurring and you wish to seek legal help, your next step is to contact the police.
From there, the police will do a criminal investigation. This will determine what evidence can be brought forward to the state’s prosecution office. This should not be a long process. Also, it will help to keep whomever else the nursing home worker abused safe from further harm. Evidence permitting, the abuser will most likely be arrested for their conduct. Then, they will have a bail bond hearing in which bail will be granted or denied.
Abuse can be a very scarring experience for the victim, so to make their healing process easier, the state of Connecticut offers a representative from The Office of Victim Advocate to speak on behalf of the victim. This means that they would have a meeting with the victim to discuss the events that took place and express their feelings on their abuser so that the person directly harmed will not have to take the stand in a hearing or trial. This will help to ease your loved ones pain as they watch their abuser accepting the consequences for his or her actions.
As the criminal trial occurs, the prosecution will present the evidence to a judge and jury and the defense (the accused abuser and their representation) will have a chance to rebut these claims. The jury will make the final decision as to if they will be found guilty for their actions and what consequences the abuser will face. The outcome of this process is pretty much out of the victim’s hands, but they will be able to watch as the process occurs.
Another legal option is to file a civil case against the abuser. If your loved one has suffered extreme physical or emotional abuse and believes that the criminal case does nut fully do them justice then it may be time to look into a civil lawsuit. The claim against the abuser is negligence and the remedy to this claim will be money damages.
The first thing you should do is contact a lawyer to see how they can help you through this process. They will help you with your specific case and what specific incidents affected you or your loved one. This will be brought before a judge to review. The facts and evidence will be presented, similar to the process in a criminal trial.
If you or your loved one has been abused and wishes to seek help in the healing process then it may be best to find a therapist or group counselor to help with the emotional process. If you feel that this is not enough, then it may be in your best interest to press criminal charges or file a lawsuit against the abuser or nursing home staff.