There are many signs of nursing home neglect and abuse that you can look for to make sure your loved one stays safe at a nursing facility. Interestingly, a new law also protects your right to file a lawsuit if your loved one is mistreated. According to a new rule, consumers will now be able to sue nursing homes for neglect. In the past, arbitration was more commonly used and contracts blocked families from suing over suspected neglect.
How can you help prevent problems with your family member’s nursing facility care? First, make sure you know the facility. Take time to go to it and see the specific room where your loved one will stay. See how the staff acts, and get a good feel for the way patients are treated. Schedule a tour of the facility before admittance; you have a right to know exactly what to expect from this facility.
Medicare.gov, the national website, also has a rating system for nursing facilities around the country. It’s possible to use this to search for the facility you’re considering to see if there have been complaints or other feedback.
How can you know if your loved one is at risk of abuse?
One thing to look for is a change in your loved one’s behavior. Look for physical signs, like bruising or sudden injuries. If your loved one talks to you about an aggressive or abusive medical provider, don’t ignore it. Approximately 90 percent of the time, something has happened to make a resident speak out, so it’s worth talking to the nursing home director. If abuse has taken place, then you have a right to move forward with a legal claim.
Source: FOX Business, “Signs of Nursing Home Neglect, Abuse,” Casey Dowd, accessed Feb. 24, 2017