What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

January 22, 2021
old person hands

Elder abuse is a very real problem in South Carolina and around the country. Sadly, it often occurs at nursing homes, which is the last place where substandard care should be acceptable.

Seniors—and those who love them—rely on nursing home staff to foster a safe and warm environment that provides adequate around-the-clock care. When a facility fails to meet such obligations, it’s the residents who suffer most.  

If you think your elderly loved one has been neglected or abused at his or her long-term care facility, you may have grounds for legal action. It’s essential to proceed strategically, however, as the steps you take starting on day one could ultimately impact the outcome of the case.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important steps to take if you suspect nursing home abuse:

1. Make Alternative Arrangements

Naturally, if the victim’s life is in immediate danger, your first priority will be moving him or her out of the facility. Depending on the circumstances, it may be easiest to relocate the resident back home temporarily. Otherwise, you’ll want to find another nursing home in the area that can accommodate his or her needs.

2. Preserve Potential Evidence

Every piece of tangible evidence that you present could strengthen your case. In nursing home abuse claims, such evidence might include:

  • Medical records;
  • Nursing logs;
  • Diagnostic images;
  • Photographs of any visible bruises, lacerations, or other wounds;
  • Video footage; and
  • Eyewitness statements.

3. Seek Legal Counsel

The sooner you enlist legal help, the sooner you can start organizing your case—and the sooner you may be able to recover the compensation needed to secure better care for your loved one. As such, it’s wise to call a lawyer as soon as you have reason to believe your relative is being neglected or abused by nursing home staff.

4. Avoid Corresponding with the Facility Directly

At some point, the administrator may reach out and ask you about your concerns. This is especially likely if you relocated your loved one with little to no notice.

Regardless of how sympathetic or helpful the staff seems, their primary goal—protect their reputation and avoid paying damages—is in direct opposition with your own. Therefore, you shouldn’t let them convince you to allow them to handle the issue internally.

In fact, it’s best to avoid corresponding with the facility at all. As long as you refer them to your legal team, they won’t be able to manipulate you into dropping the claim, accepting an unfair settlement, or otherwise jeopardizing your case.  

Discuss Your Claim with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

At Hodge & Langley Law Firm, we’re not afraid to go up against even the most established long-term care facilities. If you think your family may have grounds for a nursing home abuse claim, we will conduct a thorough investigation to help you determine how best to proceed. Call 864-585-3873 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer.

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