Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
Entrusting care of your elderly loved one to a nursing home can be a difficult decision. You will be sending your aged relative to an unfamiliar territory. When you do decide to entrust them to such facility, you always have the assumption that they will be treated with dignity and compassion. This is not happening, unfortunately. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, nursing home abuse is quite prevalent even under unlikely circumstances.
Nursing home abuse can be a difficult problem. It is something that is hard to define and identify. If there are indications of abuse, seldom is it reported to authorities. According to a two-year study by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, nursing home violations occur in 30-percent of US nursing homes. Most of them are unreported and if reported, proving it can still be a challenge. Here are the steps in reporting nursing home abuse:
Right at the onset of filing the case, the complexity of nursing home abuse becomes evident. You will have to acquire medical records for the elderly. These documents will then need to be reviewed not only for the time the elderly was residing in the facility but also 5 to 10 years prior to admission. Likewise, you will have to look for any signs of abuse such as bedsores, bruises, behavioral changes, and others.
Once abuse has been confirmed, you will then have to file an incident report. If the caretaker of the facility is a doctor, social worker, or other government employees, they are required by law to report nursing home abuse. Citizens can also report suspected nursing home abuse. Make sure to include important details of the abuse when reporting.
There are several ways to file a nursing home abuse report
- Through the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116
- The state resources page of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) by the Administration on Aging (AoA) to locate the proper authorities for reporting nursing home abuse in the state. There may be several hotlines you need to call.
- Through the elderly’s primary health care doctor, social worker, elder care advocate, or their immediate health care term provided they are not part of those who are being reported.
- For severe cases of nursing home abuse, call 911
The elderly people are on the twilight of their lives. As they count down to their last days, they expect utmost care and attention and not the other way around.