Reporting Nursing Home Abuse – What should you do if you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect?
Nursing home abuse is not only wrong, but in many cases criminal. Those who are involved in abuse (including neglect) or financial schemes designed to defraud our seniors should be reported immediately.
Physical, Sexual, and Mental Abuse
If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of physical or sexual abuse, report it immediately to the local police department. Do not worry about the possibility that your fears may be unfounded – it is the job of law enforcement to fully investigate cases to make sure that abuse is not taking place (or if it is, to take appropriate action).
In nursing home and long-term care facilities, in addition to abuse through negligence, residents can be the victim of physical, sexual, and mental abuse.
Physical abuse of the elderly can involving, slapping, punching, kicking, shoving, rough handling, and improper restraints.
Tragically, our seniors can sometimes be the victims of sexual abuse, as their age, physical inability to defend themselves, and diminished mental capacity can make them a prime target for sexual predators.
It’s unclear how widespread mental abuse may be in long-term care facilities, as much of the abuse is likely unreported. Because mental abuse is not as apparent as physical abuse, this does not mean that it is not as serious.
Why Don’t Victims Tell a “Safe” Person?
In many cases of abuse, the abuser will threaten the resident with harm if the resident tells anyone of the abuse. Because the resident may have a diminished mental state of mind, and because the caregiver may have nearly total control over the resident, many residents are reluctant to report abuse. As a result, it is necessary for loved ones to be able to identify potential nursing home abuse, as their loved one may be in fear of reporting abuse.
We Can Help
In addition to contacting the police (if warranted), we can also help if abuse or neglect is suspected. Please also contact our firm so that we can learn about the case if your loved one has been physically, mentally, or sexually abused or suffered injury as a result of neglect or negligence. We represent clients throughout New York state, including Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo.
We will meet with you for free, and when we learn about the facts and circumstances of your loved one’s injuries and situation, we can discuss with you the options available.