When families agree to put a loved one into the care of a nursing home, they have to employ a great measure of trust. But, as we know, abuse and/or neglect can become a problem in such institutions. In 2000, the National Center on Elder Abuse conducted a study that found that 44% of the nursing home residents surveyed had said that they had been abused in the past 12 months and that 95% of the respondents had witnessed instances of neglect during the same time period. Studies have also shown that few of these instances are ever reported.
Injuries in nursing homes can comprise a wide variety of situations and circumstances and abuse can take many forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and financial exploitation. These and other forms of abuse nursing home patients may encounter generally fall into the category of a failure to provide for a resident's needs when it comes to food, shelter, clothing, hygiene or health care.
One of the key elements of reporting nursing home or elder abuse is knowing the warning signs.
If anyone suspects or becomes aware of elder abuse that is immediately life threatening, they should, of course, contact emergency personnel by calling 9-1-1. If the danger is not immediate, calling local law enforcement and/or state's attorney's office to report the abuse is imperative.
Other resources are also important for anyone who suspects elder or nursing home abuse. Adult Protective Services (APS) typically is the first agency that responds to reports of elder abuse. The agency typically investigates abuse reports and offers responsive services. APS also may be a great resources to find further resources available to anyone with a loved one suffering elder or nursing home abuse.
The National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence has developed a list of elder abuse reporting hotlines for each state. Their website (nccafv.org) is a great resource for additional advisory and intervention agencies. You may also call the Eldercare Locator (eldercare.gov), a service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, for more information as well.
After reporting the abuse to appropriate authorities and initiating intervention on behalf of your loved one, it is important to speak with a practiced personal injury attorney with experience in elder and nursing home abuse. The attorneys of Panio Law Offices have a wealth of experience fighting for victims of nursing home abuse. From a thorough investigation to collection of documentation of the conditions to the development of witness testimony that supports your case, we work extremely hard to recover the damages for your loved one and support the recovery process to a healthy and normal life.
Please call Panio Law Offices at (708) 928-8680 if you have any questions about reporting nursing home abuse or filing a personal injury claim in an elder abuse case. We can help.