Many American families get help from nursing homes and assisted living facilities as their parents and other relatives get older. Unfortunately, vulnerable residents are often subject to abuse and neglect at the hands of their caregivers.
If you or a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, options are available to you. At Curcio Law Offices, we know the devastating effects these problems can have on vulnerable nursing home residents. Learn how to report nursing home abuse and neglect by following our guide below. For more information about our legal services and how we can support you during this time, call us today at (312) 321-1111.
Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Common?
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are widespread problems. Nursing home abuse can quickly turn deadly if not addressed in time. 25% of nursing homes are cited every year for causing a serious injury or death of a nursing home resident. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 and the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act protect vulnerable residents from abuse and neglect, but it’s often not enough. Family members like you have to step up and report the abuse to the proper authorities. Recognizing abuse in nursing facilities can be incredibly difficult, especially if the assisted living facility is trying to cover up the abuse. Recognizing the various types of abuse and neglect can save your loved one’s life.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can happen in a variety of ways. At Curcio Law Offices, our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have seen it all. Our team has more than 60 years of experience protecting those who cannot protect themselves. Some common types of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Emotional abuse
- Social abuse
- Physical abuse
- Physical neglect
- Mental abuse
- Financial abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Wrongful death
Document Warning Signs of Abuse and Neglect
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in their nursing home or assisted living facility, you should begin documenting as soon as possible. Take pictures of any bruises, wounds, or bedsores. Keep a journal and document everything your family member tells you in as much detail as possible.
Get copies of medical records and any incident reports. Any injury your loved one suffers should have an incident report that details how the accident happened, where it happened, and when it happened. Check the reports for any discrepancies and ask your loved one for their side of the story. A fall may simply be a fall, but multiple falls in the same year can be a major warning sign of neglect. This documentation may be used as key evidence in your case later on. A report with no evidence may get passed over and/or labeled as ‘unsubstantiated.’
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Reporting Options
Reporting abuse can be an overwhelming experience. As soon as you suspect abuse or negligence, it’s critical to report it to the proper authorities to get your loved one the help they need. But which organization is the proper authority? Nursing home abuse and neglect can be reported to many different agencies to get help and put an end to the abuse.
If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911 to report the abuse and get help as soon as possible. This is how the U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services advises handling suspected abuse. Calling 911 allows your loved one to get immediate treatment for their injuries and file the appropriate criminal charges. If your loved one is not in immediate danger and you suspect abuse, you can contact your state’s Adult Protective Services (APS) branch. A trained social worker can begin an investigation into the nursing home and keep you updated. Find your local branch by visiting the National Adult Protective Services Association website.
Nursing Home Ombudsman
A nursing home ombudsman is a liaison between the resident and the long-term care facility. The ombudsman program helps educate nursing home residents and their families about their rights. They can also inform you of available resources. They can address resident complaints and launch an investigation into the facility. Find your local Illinois ombudsman here.
National Center on Elder Abuse
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) was established in 1988 and helps family members find resources to help their elder loved ones. The NCEA can connect you to the appropriate resources to help your loved ones. They can also help you recognize the warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Doctors and Healthcare Providers
Knowing the difference between accidents and mistreatment is a key part of reporting elder abuse. Malnutrition, bedsores, frequent falls, infections, and sepsis can all be signs of abuse or neglect. These injuries can also happen without malice. Communicate with your loved one’s doctors and healthcare providers to determine the best course of action.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Curcio Law Offices
Suffering abuse or neglect at the hands of a caregiver can be a devastating experience. At Curcio Law Offices, our Chicago elder abuse attorneys have all the experience and knowledge necessary to hold the facility responsible for its negligent actions. Our attorneys can fight to recover financial compensation for your loved one to help offset the cost of their injuries. Money may not reverse what happened, but it can help pay for the necessary treatment for your loved one. We can support you and your family through this difficult process.
After Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
Reporting abuse or neglect is not a magic wand that can stop the pain. You will likely have to follow up with the appropriate agency for investigation findings. Moving your loved one to a different facility may help keep them safe, but they may need extra medical care to recover from their injuries. Working with the experienced team at Curcio Law Offices can ensure that you are kept in the loop and your loved one gets the care they need.
The Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Curcio Law Offices Can Help
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a long-term care facility, the Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at Curcio Law Offices can help. Nursing home abuse and neglect can cause devastating injuries and leave lasting consequences for you and your family members. With the help from the attorneys at Curcio Law, you can trust that we will perform a full investigation and hold the negligent parties responsible for their actions. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (312) 321-1111.