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What Can I Do to Prevent My Loved One from Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse?

 Posted on September 19, 2019 in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect attorneysEvery few weeks, there seems to be another sad story about an incident of abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident somewhere in the United States. All such stories are troubling, but some are downright terrifying, especially if you have a loved one living in a nursing home. Perhaps even more disturbing is the estimate that only about one in 14 cases of elder abuse—which includes nursing home neglect and abuse—are ever reported.

The good news is that it is possible to prevent your loved one from suffering the ill effects of abuse or neglect while living in a nursing home. Doing so will take some preparation, however, and careful attention to detail.

Be Educated

The most important thing you can do to protect your loved one from nursing home abuse or neglect is to do your homework on the facilities that you are considering for him or her. “Your homework” should be more than quick Google search or the cursory skimming of a brochure. Even relying on the familiar “star-rating” is not enough. In recent years, both Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs have had to restructure their star-based rating systems, which means that you might not be able to trust a “perfect” five-star score.

Before deciding on a nursing home, be sure to visit the facility and have detailed discussions with both staff members and executive personnel. If you can, speak with other families who have or had loved ones in the same facility. These conversations are likely to tell you more about the nursing home than anything you could find online or in advertising materials.

Establish a Presence

Once your loved one has moved into the chosen facility, your job has only just begun. Residents who are left alone for weeks at a time by their families are those at the highest risk for neglect or abuse. Visit your loved one often, and encourage the rest of your family to do the same. During your visit, introduce yourself to regular caregivers, and allow them to see how much you care about your loved one.

Regular visits will accomplish a few things. Most importantly, your being there can help your loved feel cared about and less dependent on the facility’s staff. Frequent visits may be tough, especially if the resident has a cognitive issue such as dementia, but you cannot know what is happening if you are never there.

By visiting on a consistent basis, you will also be able to recognize worrisome changes in your loved one’s behavior, appearance, attitude, or overall health. These changes could be indicators of underlying problems. For example, if your loved one seems afraid of a particular staff member, it is possible that the staff member is engaging in inappropriate behavior.

Take Action With Help from a Chicago Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

At Schwartz Injury Law, we are serious about protecting those who reside in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect while residing in a nursing home, our experienced Cook County nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers can help you take action. Schedule a free consultation by calling 312-535-4625 today.



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