Placing a loved one in a long-term care facility or nursing home can be a difficult decision, and it’s one you don’t make lightly. You’re trusting a staff of experienced caregivers to provide the same quality care for your loved one that you could if you had the resources. While many of those caregivers are fantastic, caring individuals, some aren’t. Those few individuals can lead to nursing home neglect and abuse, putting your loved one’s safety and well-being at risk.
A trusted Chicago personal injury lawyer can represent your case, but you need to know how to manage the situation if you suspect abuse at your loved one’s facility. Here are a few key actions to take if you suspect abuse or neglect.
Speak With the Staff First
Believe it or not, the first thing you should do if you notice something off or of concern is to speak with the staff. Often, individuals in nursing homes end up injuring themselves or engaging in activities and behaviors that inherently put their safety at risk. Ask the staff about any injuries your loved one sustained and listen to their explanations.
If the reasons for the injuries make sense and it seems like the staff is acting in your loved one’s best interest, continue to be vigilant and watch for additional concerns.
Look for the Common Signs
Though all situations are different, there are a few common signs of nursing home abuse that you’ll need to be aware of before you can decide if your loved one is suffering under the hands of their caregivers. Here are a few of the most common signs you’ll want to watch for:
- Illnesses and injuries going untreated.
- Visible injuries that keep happening without reason or a satisfactory explanation.
- Emotional changes in your loved one.
- Worsening health unrelated to previous or recurring medical conditions.
If you notice anything that seems worrisome, make a note of it. When it comes to protecting your loved one, it’s better to be overly cautious than to try to explain things away.
Document Everything You Can
Documentation is essential if you’re going to prove abuse or neglect. Take pictures of any injuries as soon as you notice them. Ask for copies of your loved one’s medical files and make sure they align with your loved one’s actual condition. Maintain records of any written communication you have with the staff at the nursing home.
The more information you have, the easier it will be to prove neglect and abuse so your loved one can receive the care they deserve.
Report the Abuse
In Illinois, you’re able to report suspected instances of abuse so the state can investigate the facility. You have several options at your disposal:
- Contact the regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman and report the incident.
- Call the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966.
- Report the incident to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
- Contact the police for emergency response.
All of these options will document your complaint and increase the chances of the violations being addressed quickly.
Speak With an Attorney
Reporting abuse and neglect is just one step you can take. In some instances, your loved one may be able to receive compensation for the emotional and physical distress caused by the nursing home. However, every situation is unique. You’ll want to speak with a Chicago personal injury attorney about your case.
If you believe your loved one is suffering and the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, don’t wait. Contact the lawyers at Anesi Ozmon and let our team help you protect your loved one.