Reporting Elder Abuse

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Consider, for a moment, that most elder abuse cases are never reported. First, senior citizens usually do not want to discuss abuse that they may have experienced. Many seniors already feel lonely, and may even feel resented by their family. Furthermore when an elder does complain that he or she is being abused, it is frequently overlooked and ignored. All cases of abuse, whether deliberate or accidental, should be reported in order to ensure all facilities are falling into compliance with federal regulations.

Procedure for Reporting Incidents of Abuse

1.Visit the nursing home, and observe. Create an observation log with which you record environmental conditions, physical signs of abuse, and resident testimonial. Be sure to include dates and times, as a paper trail is a critical component needed to file claims. Taking photographs is another way to provide evidence of suspicions. All information that appears to be significant to building your case should be documented, including physical signs of negligence such as untreated pressure sores, weight loss, and frequent isolation, unsanitary living conditions, over dosing medication, and other instances of medical malpractice. If an elder complaints of untreated pain or changes in normal behavior is evident, this may be a sign of verbal or emotional abuse. These discourse should also be noted or recorded.

2.If your observations appear relevant, your next step is to research attorneys available to handle your case. If you have another attorney who handles your personal affairs, he or she may be able to provide you with the best resources for locating an elder abuse and neglect attorney. While you may be tempted to employ your personal attorney, chances are they may not have the experience necessary to build this type of case. Therefore, looking for a specialized attorney is a smart move. Your personal attorney can provide you with references and other recommendations you require. Compile a list of candidates that have your desired qualifications. Successful candidates should have years of experience with these specific types of cases, should be sympathetic to your needs, and should be be flexible in terms of financing and payments.

3.Next, narrow down your list of attorneys, and set up consultation appointments. Most qualified attorneys offer these free services in order to evaluate your case, assess documents, and determine if your claims are plausible. From this meeting, you should be able to determine whether or not an attorney is right for you. You need to look into the history of the attorney, viewing caseload experience, reputation within the community, successes, losses, and recommendations. Once an attorney is selected, he or she can guide you through the process of filing a formal complaint through your local district office.

4.Once your attorney has filed your complaint, an investigation usually occurs within one week. Most states allow attorneys to select the individuals they feel are qualified to handle the investigation, and many states allow you do attend the proceedings. If evidence if found to backup your claims, your attorney can then explain the litigation processes that are required when filing a legal lawsuit against the establishment. At this point, you discuss charges and appear in court. If you win your case, you need to discuss settlement matters with your lawyer.

Individuals that need assisted living care do not forfeit their rights simply because they cannot advocate for themselves. Too often, nursing homes take advantage of individuals in fragile states in order to make financial gains. Not only is this conduct against the law, but it immoral and unjust. If you suspect that any type of abuse has taken place, whether it is a single, isolated incident or a reoccurring issue, it is your responsibility to take appropriate measures for reporting them. Senior citizens rely on the morality of the younger populations to guarantee that their rights are upheld.


Legal•Info State Elder Abuse Information

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