Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a common issue. Some employees may take their frustrations out on their patients when they feel overworked, overwhelmed, or mistreated. Their disdain may lead them to cause harm to your loved one or neglect certain aspects of their care regimen.- Strength in Numbers
Sometimes these incidents go unreported because of lack of evidence or the abuse is hidden by staff. If you sense that something is off, or your loved one discloses some sort of mistreatment, you need to take action. There are steps that you can take to hold the facility accountable.
The process of seeking justice can be overwhelming, there are several outlets to consider. Choose whatever method restores peace and comfort to yourself.
One: File a Formal Complaint
This is the best way to hold the assailants directly accountable. You can list the names and positions of each person involved in the abuse.
Talk to anyone in charge: supervisors, managers, board members, etc. Every superior needs to be made aware of the situation. This also extends the claim beyond the “he said, she said” statute. Disclosure supports credibility. Making other people aware of the situation could also encourage other victims and their families to come forward.
Gather as much documentation as you can. You need to have your loved one’s medical records stored in a safe place. Evidence of the abuse may be documented in some of the patient notes. Facilities may also try to manipulate the records to avoid being held responsible. It’s good to have the originals in your possession.
When you complete the complaint form, make sure to include every incident in as much detail as possible. This gives the facility and the assailant less room to deny or disprove your story. Include dates, times, and locations if you can. Take photographs of any bruises or physical inconsistencies. Ask your loved one for any additional information about the manner and length of abuse.
Request a personal copy of the complaint. You need to have your own record of the situation. Make sure the assailant is removed from the facility. Have the nursing home provide you with a written account of the incident as well as a list of precautions they will implement to prevent this situation from occurring again.
Two: File Criminal Charges- Strength in Numbers
If you wish to take it a step further, you can file criminal charges against the assailant. It will be a similar paperwork process as submitting a formal complaint to the nursing facility; the only difference is that you will need to hire a lawyer to delegate the situation on your behalf.
They will take care of the communication aspect. Lawyers are in place to act as spokespeople and advocates for the afflicted party. If you’re filing a lawsuit on top or instead of criminal charges, the lawyer will take care of those proceedings as well. They will negotiate the terms of a settlement until they come to an agreement that’s satisfactory for you and accepted by the facility.
Choose a lawyer in your budget or one that is willing to take the case pro bono.
Make sure your representative has access to all of the information that you’ve obtained. This includes any medical records pertinent to the abuse as well as photos, videos, or voice recordings. They need to have as much evidence to work with as possible.
Hiring a professional will ensure that your loved one receives the justice they deserve.
The authorities will arrest the assailant and charge them accordingly. When you go to court, you’ll need an experienced candidate to represent the grievances of you and your family.
Three: Spread Awareness Through Social Media- Strength in Numbers
The court of public opinion is a powerful place. This is usually the next-best option for families whose grievances are not being heard. If the company is denying the claims, or law enforcement isn’t moving forward with the charges, social media is a viable place to go in order to be heard.
A public voice is a strong one, and it could encourage the responsible nursing home and the local police department to be proactive and make progress with your case.
There are multiple platforms for you to share your story. Be as descriptive as you can when disclosing the details of the hardship your loved one has endured. People will be sympathetic to your situation.
Strength in Numbers- Rallying a support system can provide the justice you seek. The families of other victims can hear your story, and you’ve created a platform for them to share their grievances as well.
Raising awareness sparks conversations about prevention. When atrocities take place, communities strive to do make sure it doesn’t happen again. Educating people on nursing home abuse can help other families know the signs. They’ll know how to contact, and how to proceed with seeking justice for their families.
Social media keeps the world connected; you’re bound to find someone that you can relate to, and they may be able to help you navigate through such a difficult time.
In most situations, a combination of these options are available, but it is up to you to decide what works best for you and your family.
Your loved one being a victim of nursing home abuse is a nightmare, but it’s beneficial to know that you can be proactive in the situation. There are ways for you to get justice for your family.