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What if I think my loved one was a victim of nursing home abuse?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2022 | Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home care is a necessity in Virginia. People who have a loved one who has become ill or is at an age where they cannot care for themselves rely on these facilities to help them. The goal is to get the attention they need to live a fruitful life and get medical assistance they cannot get at home. However, there is always a chance that people who are trusted with the responsibility to provide that care will not live up to the standards that have been set.

They might commit violence, not provide residents with the medical care they should, be lax in providing necessary medication, fail to keep them clean, not give them their nutrition and worse. Family members who suspect that their loved one is being mistreated or outright abused might not want to believe it. Knowing what to do about it can be confusing. There are options available and one of the most important is to have legal protection.

Contact the Virginia Department of Health

Complaints about nursing home abuse must provide information to the Virginia Department of Health. Its Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC) is in place to make sure that these facilities comply with the law. Nursing homes are inspected at two-year intervals and surveyed every year to maintain their certification for Medicare and Medicaid.

People whose loved ones have been harmed in any way must fill out a form. On this form, they will give all the necessary information such as what happened and how the resident might have been mistreated. The OLC will contact the complainant to gather more information. This is important so they will know what to investigate.

It is imperative to know the signs of potential abuse and mistreatment. That can include physical injuries; the resident becoming ill for no apparent reason; acting withdrawn; a diminished appearance; bedsores; a decline in health; or the person outright saying they are being abused. This can be hard for a loved one to hear and they may try to explain away their suspicions thinking they are simply feeling guilty about placing a loved one in a facility. Despite that, it is important to act if there is even a hint of wrongdoing.

Having professional advice is crucial in nursing home abuse cases

When coming to grips with the shock and anger of a loved one having been victimized by nursing home abuse or abuse in a long-term care facility, it is important for family members to know what they can do. Calling state agencies and other services might seem like a good idea – and it is vital to get the report on the record – but these entities are frequently overloaded with cases and do not give the individuals who have been harmed the proper attention.

Having local advice from caring professionals who understand every aspect of a case is crucial when nursing home abuse has been happening.