Nursing home neglect is surely one of the most heinous crimes which can be committed, especially given that patients are placed in these environments for their care. Unfortunately however, this is a sad fact of life and just last year my brother-in-law was forced to take action in court against the nursing home that was charged with his mother’s care. In what was a greatly troubling time for the family, the guys at Kosieradzki Smith law firm, guided us through the process with professionalism and care, making the whole case that little bit easier on us. Whilst this process may have been difficult, we knew we were taking action to prevent further neglect to other patients.
If you have a loved one that is living in a nursing home, and you suspect that some foul play is taking place, here is what you need to do once you begin to get suspicious.
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Speak With You Loved One
The first step is to have a conversation with your loved one about the care that they receive, and how they feel in the home. Now, this may not always be easy, especially if you have a very elderly family member in the home, or someone with mental health issues. Regardless, it is always worth trying to get a first hand account from the patient.
Strip Emotion Away
It can be very easy to fly off the handle when you suspect something like this, and very few would blame you for doing so. Unfortunately however, you must remain as calm as possible in order to ensure that you get to the bottom of what is happening. If you notify the nursing home staff of your suspicions, they may seek to cover their tracks if they have committed neglect. Stay calm and you will be able to help far more than if you don’t.
It will be important at this early stage that you do all that you can to gather evidence which points towards negligent behaviour. Taking photos, writing notes and poring over the medical reports which you are allowed access to, will serve you greatly in the future, and help you to see whether or not neglect has taken place. Given that at this stage nobody will be aware of your suspicions, you will have far more success in gathering vital pieces of evidence.
Seek Legal Support
Once you have strong suspicions of malpractice taking place, you must seek legal counsel, and preset them with the evidence which you have so far collected. This is not to say that you will make a case against the nursing home, but the legal professionals will be able to tell you what their thoughts on the matter are, and how you should move forward.
If you are worried that the life of your loved one could be in danger as a result of the negligence, don’t waste any time, call 911 straight away.
This can be a very challenging time for you, but remaining calm and taking your time is going to be key to getting to the truth, and stopping the negligence.