Nursing homes are comforting havens for Senior Citizens who need assistance with everyday things like feeding, personal grooming, and medical care. Neglect at a nursing home is something that should not go unnoticed.
The residents at such facilities rely on the staff to provide complete care and warm treatment. They are vulnerable and, at times, utterly helpless as they depend on the staff.
Unfortunately, nursing home neglect is not uncommon. The staff can be careless about several things that may negatively affect the residents. For instance, failure to provide timely meals, negligence with regular health monitoring, or insufficient measures for the safety of the residents are just some of the ways neglect happens at nursing homes.
However, the good news is that there are several things you can do to discourage this behavior if you witness any form of neglect at nursing homes.
Let’s explore the ways you can deal with nursing home neglect.
Inform the Family
Nursing home neglect witnesses are mostly visitors who come to check on their loved ones. If you witness an unfortunate incident of neglect, don’t hesitate to inform the victim’s family. They are the ones who have the right to know what goes on behind their backs. Plus, it is their call to decide what action to take against the nursing home staff.
They might take legal action or decide to reach a nursing home neglect settlement according to the victim’s best interest. The family withdraws its lawsuit against the nursing home in return for financial compensation.
It is an effective way of improving the nursing home’s treatment of the residents. The staff is more careful and avoids situations that may lead to legal action against it.
Call the Emergency Helpline
In certain situations, you need to seek immediate help to support the victim. For instance, if a resident is injured or needs medical attention right away due to the nursing home’s negligence, it is best to call the emergency helpline.
In this way, you will play your part in providing immediate assistance to the victim. They will be in good hands as trained professionals arrive to handle the situation.
In addition, it is also the best way to involve the authorities. Law enforcement agencies can investigate the situation and take the required measures against the neglectful behavior of the nursing home.
File a Complaint with the Management
Notify the nursing home management when the staff members overlook their responsibilities towards their loved ones. It is an important step that ensures improvement.
It brings the issue to the attention of the management, who can hold accountability of the staff and carry out corrective measures. These may include disciplinary actions or re-training the staff.
Timely complaints also help the management identify issues and pinpoint areas that need improvement. They can take measures to prevent neglectful behavior so that residents have no complaints in the future.
In addition, contacting the management lets you express all your concerns through proper communication. Formal complaints are taken more seriously and receive immediate attention.
Notify the Regulatory Authorities
In case of severe neglect, it is essential to seek the help of regulatory authorities. These agencies can carry out formal investigations and take appropriate action. Their intervention can lead to immediate improvement as nursing homes are bound to comply with their rules. Plus, they have the legal authority to take enforcement actions against violations.
It is an effective way of bringing long-term improvement. Other than taking immediate action, regulatory agencies are likely to follow up. The nursing home in question will remain under observation to ensure there is no future neglectful behavior or abuse.
Another one of the advantages of reaching out to regulatory agencies is maintaining your confidentiality. If you are afraid to come out as a witness of nursing home neglect to avoid retaliation, your identity will remain anonymous.
Follow Up with your Complaint
Registering a complaint with the nursing home management is not sufficient. You must follow up to ensure proper action. The nursing home might overlook the complaint or might claim to take action without actually doing so. A follow-up will reinforce your concerns and bring them to the attention of the authorities.
You may follow up with an email, a phone call, or visit the nursing home manager in person to discuss the issue better. It helps build communication to resolve the matter more effectively.
Provide Emotional Support to the Victim
Victims of nursing home neglect are often afraid to protest or speak up against their unfair treatment. They are helpless and may feel emotionally low. At this time, your emotional support can do wonders. Simply console them, sympathize with them, and motivate them to seek help.
A few words of sympathy can significantly decrease the anxiety and emotional distress of the victims. It provides immediate comfort and builds up their confidence to take action.
With your encouragement and assistance, they may be able to contact their family or file a complaint with the management. It is the first step towards calling for improvement.
It is essential not to overlook nursing home neglect. If there is nothing else you can do after witnessing it, at least you can sympathize with and console the victims.
Seek Legal Assistance
Nursing home neglect is a serious issue as it involves your loved ones. You have the right to take legal action against people who do not fulfill the responsibility of taking care of your dear ones. Legal experts can guide you to take the best course of action to address the issue.
You may file a lawsuit against the nursing home in response to severe neglect. Legal experts will help you with this process as they handle the case professionally and involve the law.
Turning to legal action might sound like a drastic step, but it is one of the most effective measures that brings a quick and positive change in the behavior of the nursing home staff. They realize the law would reprimand them unless they perform their job dutifully.
Legal assistance also helps you receive professional guidance if you want a settlement. Your lawyer will be able to negotiate a beneficial settlement for you and the victim. Financial compensation will help cover expenses like medical bills.
Nursing home neglect is a troubling concern. It is essential not to overlook this distressing issue as you can bring about improvement with the help of some easy measures.
Simply consoling the victims can make a huge difference by showing empathy and support. Inform their families or notify regulatory authorities to take proper action. You also have the right to file a lawsuit against the nursing home as an effective deterrent. Do the right thing and report the issue as soon as possible. Play your part and make your contribution towards discouraging nursing home neglect.