There is nothing more disheartening than suspecting that your elderly loved one is being mistreated in the nursing home facility you entrusted to provide compassionate care. Addressing your concerns immediately may allow you to safely and effectively moderate the situation before it worsens and impacts your loved one’s health and well-being.

Your awareness of who to contact if you suspect mistreatment may optimize your time and resources to work toward resolving the issues as quickly as possible.

Gathering and organizing evidence

As soon as you recognize behavior that concerns you, begin documenting what is happening. Keep a thorough timeline with descriptions of the behaviors that you are unhappy with. If you notice changes in your loved one’s demeanor, personality, health and emotional stability, it could indicate that he or she is not receiving adequate attention and care. Likewise, if you notice suspicious injuries or that your family member lacks cleanliness and hygiene, you may suspect maltreatment. Your awareness may help you recognize red flags that you can record to use as evidence in reporting your concerns.

Medicare.gov suggests that you report your concerns directly to the staff that manages the facility where your loved one is receiving care. If the outcome is fruitless and you see zero change in the treatment of your family member, there are other people you may consider reporting to including the facility supervisor, your family member’s physician, a social worker and even the facility administrator.

Pursuing legal action

If your loved one suffers emotional trauma or physical injury because of nursing home abuse, you have the right to pursue a lawsuit. Your family member deserves quality care and your vigilance may help you recognize warning signs of mistreatment before it is too late. If you would like to learn more about how to protect your aging family member, please visit our webpage.