• Apr
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Should You Call the Police if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?

    There are so many emotions tied up in having a loved one in a nursing home. Family members feel guilt over handing over care to strangers, yet need the medical know-how and round-the-clock attention that they provide. Making matters worse, there are very real concerns as to whether your loved one is safe.

    With reports of nursing home abuse on the rise around the country, it is the responsibility of everybody who has a loved one being cared for on in one of these facilities to keep their eyes and ears open for signs of neglect or harm. According to the Government Accountability office, there was an increase of nearly 11% in the number of incidents reported to them, and there are suspicions that those reports are just the tip of the iceberg of what is really going on.  Far too many cases of abuse or neglect in nursing homes go unreported, as evidenced by a National Research Council study that reported that only one out of every fourteen episodes of abuse in the United States is reported. The other 13 are at serious risk, as unreported abuse has the potential for continuing and being perpetrated on multiple residents.

    If you suspect that nursing home abuse is going on in a facility that you’ve visited, there are several options available to you. If you actually witness abuse that is currently happening and there is no time to waste in protecting an individual from harm, you should immediately dial 911 and summon the police. If the situation is less emergent and you suspect there is a problem, there are multiple state and local advocacy agencies available for the protection of the vulnerable.

    Every state has an Adult Protective Services (APS) agency that is specifically dedicated to providing protection for the elderly. You can find the APS agency specific to your location by visiting the National Center on Elder Abuse website and visiting the State Resources section.  Depending upon your specific situation you can also express your concerns or suspicions to your loved one’s primary care physician or the administrator of the facility where they reside. You can also contact a nursing home abuse attorney, who will have the resources and knowledge you need for immediate protective action to be taken.

    For more guidance, contact our experienced attorneys today.


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