If you detect any worrying signs and symptoms on your elderly loved one, you might wonder whom you should call if you suspect abuse at an assisted living facility.
If your loved one or any other residents are in immediate danger or suffer from any serious injuries, you should call 9-1-1 for immediate help and assistance from law enforcement and medical services. Making sure that your relative and others are safe from harm should be the priority. You can also report your suspicions to the management of the assisted living facility.
Consider hiring an assisted living accident attorney who can help you identify your options for preserving your loved one’s legal rights and determine your best next steps.
Where to Report Abuse at an Assisted Living Facility
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Resources (HHS), after dialing 9-1-1, your options for reporting abuse can vary. A good next step can be to call the Eldercare Locator at (800) 842-6336. Operators can then refer you to a local agency for assistance and advice in your state.
Depending on the state in which the assisted living facility is located, you can call your local adult protective services, long-term-care ombudsman, and potentially other agencies. You could also inform your doctor or another medical professional and ask for help reporting suspected or confirmed abuse.
In short, you have various options for reporting suspected abuse at an assisted living facility.
It is also important to note that, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), some states have a mandatory reporting requirement that not only applies to medical professionals and government employees but also makes reporting mandatory for all persons who suspect or witness abuse of an elder.
If you are considering reporting assisted living abuse or suspected abuse, make sure to give as much detail as possible. If you can, collecting evidence such as photographs, medical records, and witness statements can be a good idea.
Compensation Could Be Available
If your loved one suffered injuries and financial damages as a result of assisted living facility abuse or neglect, you could potentially recover compensation and awards for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of life enjoyment
You may also be able to receive other damages, depending on the injuries and extent of abuse or neglect.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Signs of Harm and Neglect
Knowing the signs of abuse can be important in identifying neglect and abuse in an assisted living facility. In some cases, abuse can occur through deliberate actions by staff, other residents, or visitors to a facility. However, residents could also suffer severe negative health consequences through general neglect or low care and hygiene standards in an assisted living property. Abuse and neglect can come in many different ways, including but not limited to:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial exploitation
- General neglect
- Overmedicating or unlawful restraint
While physical abuse can be easy to detect, for example, a senior suffering from injuries or extensive bruising, other types of abuse and neglect can potentially go on for a long time before relatives become suspicious. Some of the signs and symptoms to watch out for if you suspect neglect, abuse, or financial exploitation include:
- Unexplained fractures and sprains
- Extensive bruising
- New or worsening bedsores
- Rapid weight or hair loss
- Lack of hygiene
- Frequent falls
- Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
- New depression or anxiety
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Avoiding certain caregivers
- Unpaid bills and missing valuables or funds
You Could Have Legal Recourse
While assisted living facilities generally do not have to adhere to the strict laws governing skilled nursing facilities, they nevertheless have to ensure that your loved one is safe from harm and hazards. An assisted living facility can be negligent in many ways, for example, by employing unqualified staff or failing to vet new hires adequately. If your loved one came to harm due to a lack of maintenance at the facility, for example, with a slip and fall accident, the assisted living facility could be negligent also.
We Can Help
Knowing whom to call if you suspect abuse at an assisted living facility can be confusing. If your loved one shows any injuries, calling emergency services and law enforcement can be your best first step.
If you are looking for legal advice, consider contacting Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today. We know where you can report elder abuse and can protect your loved one’s legal rights.
We can also analyze your case and assess any legal options you might have for getting justice and compensation. Call us now for a free consultation with one of our dedicated team members at (800) 842-6336.