Placing a loved one in a nursing home facility is a difficult decision. We want them to be treated with kindness and compassion and to receive the best medical treatment available. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a sad fact of life for many of these residents. It can be difficult to ascertain whether your family member is being mistreated, ignored or even assaulted. Before placing your family member in a nursing home, you can research the facility in federal research data to find out if it has been cited for sexual abuse or other issues in the past three years by doing the following:
- Go to the federal Nursing Home Compare website and look up the facility by name or location.
- On the results page, you will see a star rating for the facility based on factors such as staffing levels. A history of abuse or other inspection problems will be reflected in the “health inspection” rating.
- Click on the rating to see a summary of the facility’s most recent inspection.
- Click on “View all health inspections.” For more details, you can then click on a specific date and then “View full report.”
- On the main profile page for the nursing home, click on “Penalties” to see if any inspections resulted in fines or denials of payment.
- There are also websites for each state that may offer additional information on the facility.
If your loved one is a resident in a nursing home facility and you believe they are being or have been abused, it’s critical to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the abuse. One of the most heinous forms of nursing home abuse is sexual abuse. Perpetrators take advantage of residents who are very ill, have dementia or are physically incapacitated and consequently not able to defend themselves. If you suspect that this may be happening to your loved one, preserve any evidence that you have. Don’t wash any sheets or clothing and preserve any bodily evidence by making sure the victim does not bathe until the evidence is collected. If you suspect something, do not allow the nursing home administration or management to convince you to do nothing. You can contact your state ombudsperson who handles complaints about government-regulated agencies at www.ltcombudsman.org.
The best course of action if you suspect that your loved one is being abused is to call the experienced and compassionate nursing home abuse attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. We know exactly what to do. Call 800-529-2676 or email[email protected].