If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

If you suspect that your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse, immediately notify the head of the nursing home and document it in writing. Ask the head of the organization to investigate and call you. Then:

  • Make more frequent, unexpected visits
  • Keep a close eye on the abused person
  • Document and photograph any bruises, cuts or bedsores
  • Follow up on your request with the head of the nursing home
  • Document what you are told and other things you observe at the home
  • Make a note of how the staff acts towards you
  • Talk to your loved one and other residents about signs

Assure your loved one that it is OK to talk about what is happening, and take notes.

    Residents typically do not report neglect. Some are afraid or unable. Some simply do not recognize it themselves.Proper care in a nursing home may seem to some like excessive pampering, but it is not. Residents must have water available at all times, even if that means a staff member has to come to the room frequently to hold the glass. Residents must be supervised at all times to prevent nursing home accidents and injuries. And so much more.

     When you visit the staff may seem very attentive and helpful, but they may simply be on their best behavior because you are there observing. Be on the lookout for signs of neglect such as weight loss, bedsores, poor hygiene, dehydration, sunburn, injuries, infections, and unsanitary conditions

   The  Act now clarifies that nursing home residents’ rights can now be vindicated even if abuse or neglect did not result in an injury. The Act clearly states that “assistance with activities of daily living” are a category of services that, if withheld or not provided, constitute neglect. This means if a nursing home fails to provide the most basic human needs, such as hygiene, dressing, and feeding. Although these failures may not result in a serious or permanent injury they are still considered abuse and neglect.