Nursing home abuse is an unfortunate reality that far too many people experience. There are many instances in which residents at nursing homes all over the country face physical, emotional, and financial abuse at the hands of a doctor or staff member. The decision to have someone else care for your elderly loved one is already difficult enough without having to worry about the possibility of abuse. If your elderly loved one is in a Wisconsin nursing home and you suspect that they are suffering from some form of abuse, there is action you can take.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of elder abuse, you should immediately report the issue to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Department of Quality Assurance. Find the office directly responsible for monitoring nursing homes in your area and let them know what you believe is happening. They can investigate the situation and determine if abuse is present in the nursing home and take the proper action against the nursing home to remedy the situation.
Make sure you take photos of any bruise, bed sores or any other markings that may indicate abuse or neglect of you loved one. If you complain to the staff or management, be sure to ask that your complaints be documented in the medical record and make a note in your own record of who you spoke to, when you spoke to them, what was said and what response or action taken, if any.
Despite how you may be feeling, you don’t want to jump to conclusions. If you do suspect nursing home abuse, you should speak with the manager about what you feel is happening. Use the evidence you find — bruises, bed sores, behavioral changes, etc. — to support your point and communicate your concerns. You can ask who is looking after your loved one and request that they review the potential situation. There are times when managers or owners are unaware of abuse occurring at the nursing home, so bringing it to their attention can be beneficial.
If you believe your loved one has been harmed, you don’t have to keep them at the same nursing home. At the end of the day, the safety of your elderly loved one should be the top priority and any signs of abuse should be enough to begin the process of looking for another nursing home to care for them. Make sure you look into any other nursing home to determine if they have any kind of history of abuse as well. Explain to the nursing home why you are moving your loved one and what you have noticed, so they are aware of what may be going on in their facility.
Your loved one has rights in a nursing home and if they sustain an injury as a result of the negligence of a caretaker, nurse, or any other staff member, you may have legal options. You should speak with someone who has knowledge of nursing home abuse laws and what kind of action may be taken against the facility or liable party to seek compensation. Possible compensation may include costs for medical expenses associated with the injury, pain and suffering endured by the resident, and more.
At Cannon & Dunphy S.C., our premier Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers know how difficult this situation can be and what kind of damages injuries residents may sustain as a result of abuse. If you suspect that your loved one has experienced abuse, make sure you look for the potential signs such as physical bruises or sores, or changes in the way they act, including avoiding eye contact. This can be used as proof in your case. We want to help you hold negligent nursing homes accountable when they cause harm to a resident.
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