What To Do If You Witness Nursing Home Abuse
Whether you witnessed nursing home abuse while visiting a loved one, or if you work in a nursing home and witness another staff member abusing a resident, you are likely unsure of what to do. Certain individuals, such as nursing home staff members and physicians that witness abuse, are required to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities.
Even when someone is not legally required to report the abuse, it is still important to file a complaint to stop the abuse from occurring. If you have witnessed nursing home abuse, it is important to know the actions to take to stop it from happening and to get the elder the help they need.
Call the Police, if Necessary
Sometimes, nursing home abuse is more than neglect. When the matter appears to be criminal, it is important to call the police as soon as possible. The police can investigate the situation and if necessary, help you remove the resident from the home.
Talk to the Resident About the Abuse
It is important to have as much information as possible before you report the abuse. If you can, try to speak to the resident about the abuse, and ask them if things like that have happened in the past. Remember that nursing home residents are often reluctant or unable to speak about the abuse, so do not push them if that is the case.
Report the Abuse to Medical Personnel
All long-term care homes in Florida are required to have a nurse on duty at all times. If the medical personnel did not have anything to do with the abuse, you can report it to them and they can help you document the abuse and report it to the proper authorities.
Report the Abuse to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman
The purpose of the long-term care ombudsman program in Florida is to ensure that all long-term care residents in the state enjoy a certain quality of life. The ombudsmen are also passionate about protecting the safety, health, rights, and welfare of all nursing home residents. After witnessing abuse, you can file a complaint online or call them and file a complaint that way.
Contact a Trusted National Organization
If you are unsure of where to turn, or you are not getting the results you need after speaking to the ombudsman or people in the nursing home, you can turn to certain national organizations. Agencies such as the National Center on Elder Abuse can advise on the appropriate local, state, and federal organizations to report the abuse to.
Call a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Help
Nursing home abuse is extremely upsetting and if you have witnessed it occurring, our Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer at Kohn Law is here to help. Our seasoned attorney will advise on the steps to take and help you file a claim when appropriate to recover the damages the elder has sustained. Call us today at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.