Elders who are subjected to nursing home abuse or neglect may be unable to or fearful about reporting the situation themselves. For example, if the abuse is being carried out by a caretaker, then the resident might worry that the abuse will worsen if they speak up. As such, it is often up to a resident’s family members or loved ones to notice the signs of abuse and report to the appropriate parties as soon as possible.
Notify the Facility
If you have reason to believe that your elderly loved one is in danger of further physical or sexual abuse, then you should notify the director of nursing and administrator at the facility, ensuring that they or your document the conversation. Often times, facilities may have formal complaint lines and forms you can complete and send it. It’s a good idea to complete those forms, maintain copies for your records, and send over a copy to the facility with a fax confirmation or verified mail receipt in order to ensure they received the complaint. Be sure to follow-up and document your follow-up with the director of nursing and administrator.
Notify the State
In addition to making reports with the facility itself, if you suspect abuse or neglect, you should call the State administrative agency overseeing these facilities. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services is the State public agency tasked with investigating claims of abuse and neglect. If you believe a loved one may be suffering from abuse/neglect, you can contact the State at 800-458-9858, or visit https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/your-rights/complaint-incident-intake. The State is required to investigate the complaint, but you should still forward over any relevant documents and evidence, including relevant names and contact information (maintain copies for your records). Once you have filed the complaint, request a follow-up copy of the investigation and any conclusions.
Notify the Police
If you fear that your family member may be in imminent harm, you may want to consider calling the local authorities with your suspicions. Depending on the facts, the police may initiate a criminal investigation into the nursing home.
The reports created by State agencies assists in creating a record that the public can access to better inform them whether they would like to place a loved one in such a facility.
Speak to a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
You may want to consult a nursing home abuse attorney in your area. Even if you are not sure if you can file a claim against the nursing home at the moment, a lawyer can help you understand your legal options. It is important to speak with an experienced long-term care attorney, as there are numerous regulations, laws, and cases that provide a minefield to destroy any potential claims.
Contact Us Today
Do you suspect that your elderly loved one is being abused or neglected while staying in a nursing home in San Antonio? Whether a caretaker or a family member is causing the abuse, the nursing home might be liable for allowing it to continue unaddressed. To find out what to do next and how to seek compensation and justice for your elderly loved one, call (210) 361-2997 and connect with Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C. Our attorneys are waiting to hear from you and see how we can help protect the rights and wellbeing of your loved one.