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Protecting Your Elderly Loved One from Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse

When a difficult decision is made to move Mom or Dad to a nursing home, you want to protect your elderly parent from abuse and ensure they receive the best care possible. If you don’t have any personal experience, you may not know how to find a long-term care facility that you trust with the care of your loved one. There are steps you can take before choosing a facility that can help prevent nursing home abuse and neglect.

Protecting Your Elderly Loved One from Nursing Home Abuse

Help protect your loved one from nursing home neglect by ensuring they are in a quality care facility. Here are some steps to take:

Use Medicare resources

Medicare.gov offers a search function to help you compare nursing home options in your area. Search results include information on the facility size, ownership, and any penalties that have been imposed. Perhaps most importantly, you will see Medicare’s star rating system that’s based on a nursing home’s performance in the following three measures: health inspections, staffing, and quality of resident care.

Speak to current caregivers and doctors

Ask for recommendations from your parent’s current caregivers and doctors. They are likely to have insider knowledge about the nursing homes in your area and will know the particular needs of your family member.

Ask for referrals

You may have friends who have had to help their parents move to a nursing home that have specific advice about which nursing homes to stay away from and which nursing homes could be a great fit for your parent.

Read online reviews

Apart from asking for referrals, doing an online search for reviews can be a good way to weed out the bad apples.

Schedule nursing home tours

Once you have compiled a list of two-three options, it’s time to tour the homes. You and your parent will get a sense of the place by walking around and speaking to the Nursing Home Administrator and other staff directly. Come prepared with a list of questions, listen carefully to the answers, and trust your gut.

Here are some questions to get your list started:

  • Is this facility accredited and certified?
  • Will your facility be able to meet my parent’s specific needs such as dietary restrictions, physical therapy, or dementia care?
  • What is the staff to patient ratio?
  • What are your policies for visitors and activities?
  • What is the home’s record for resident care violations in the last five years?
  • Does your facility accept Medicaid?

Signs of nursing home neglect and abuse

After your elderly parent or loved one has moved into a nursing home, it is important to visit as often as possible and watch for signs of neglect and abuse. Some things to look out for are:

  • Sudden unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained bruises or other injuries
  • Bed sores
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Sudden listlessness or other signs of depression
  • Unsanitary conditions

If you notice any of these signs, it is very important that you speak with your parent’s caregivers at the home. If their answers don’t make sense or if they evade your questions; it may be time to take further action.

What to do if you suspect that your loved one is being abused at a nursing home

If after speaking to the facility staff, you believe that your loved one was injured due to the medical negligence or intentional abuse of a nursing home or nursing home employee, your first priority should be to get them out of the dangerous situation.

Next, report the abuse: to report abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult living in a nursing home in Washington State, call the Complaint Resolution Unit toll-free hotline at 1-800-562-6078.

Third, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. Personal injury lawyers Seattle know the laws in Washington State and can help to gather evidence and fight for the justice and compensation your loved one deserves.

The Seattle Personal Injury Attorneys You Want on Your Side

The personal injury attorneys at Tinker Law Firm have been winning birth injury, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases for individuals and their loved ones in Seattle and across Washington State since 1974. We seek justice for injury victims who have been harmed by preventable medical errors, and the negligent or abusive actions of another. Our clients pay no fees or expenses to file a personal injury claim; our firm advances out-of-pocket expenses and is only reimbursed when we recover a settlement on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims in Washington State have a statute of limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time from the date of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and experienced attorneys.

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