You visited your family member at the nursing home, and you are concerned. You believe you saw signs that indicate your loved one may have been abused and you are not sure what to do. Here are some steps to take if you suspect elder abuse or nursing home abuse or in Kentucky.
Talk to Your Loved One
Talk to your family member who is in the nursing home. It may be a difficult subject to discuss with your loved one; however, it is crucial you have the conversation. Even if he or she denies any issues, you can watch for signs that indicate your loved one may not be telling you the truth or your loved one is holding back information. If he or she acts nervous or does not want to discuss the nursing home or staff, this behavior may validate your concerns and indicate possible abuse.
Make Unplanned Visits
Stop in to see your family member without advance planning. Frequent, unplanned visits indicate to staff members that you are paying attention to your loved one. Frequent visits and various times allow you to see what is going on during different work shifts. You should record any information, including who you suspect may be the abusive person, but be careful about making formal accusations. An abuse situation is extremely emotional for you and your loved one; however, you must be careful how you handle the situation to protect your loved one’s legal rights. If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, contact law enforcement immediately to report the abuse.
Keep notes of any signs that indicate abuse. This includes bruises, lacerations, unexplained illnesses, and any changes in personality. Remember that abuse is not only physical, but it may be sexual, financial, emotional, or verbal. Take photos of any actual signs, such as broken bones or bedsores.
Remove the Person from the Facility
You may need to find a new facility for your loved one or set up care around the clock. You should also talk to a Lexington nursing home abuse attorney about your suspicions. Also, report your concerns to the facility’s supervisor or manager and alert your family member’s doctor.
Meeting with A Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
When you contact an attorney, show the attorney your notes and discuss the situation. You may have a claim against the nursing home and other parties. Your attorney can provide legal advice about your options and support during this difficult time. Do not sign any agreement with the facility, an insurance adjuster for the facility, or an attorney for the facility until you have consulted with an experienced Lexington nursing home abuse attorney.
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Senior citizens may feel they have no voice and no way to protect themselves. You can be their voice whether the victim is a family member or someone you see when you visit your loved one. The actions you take could provide safety for those who have been victims or are potential victims. You can help prevent injuries and emotional distress. Contact someone in authority who will take your concerns seriously and investigate the situation.
For more information about reporting elder abuse and nursing home abuse in Kentucky, contact the Shelton Law Group by calling 1-888-761-7204 or by using our online contact form. You may also contact the following agencies in Kentucky:
- Department for Community-Based Services (DCBS) at (800) 752-6200
- Kentucky Inspector General’s Office at (502) 564-2888
- Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman program at (800) 372-2991
You can report nursing home abuse anonymously.