When families in Georgia put their trust in a nursing home facility to provide care for their loved one, they often hold the staff to high expectations as their family member is important to them. Unfortunately, there are times when certain facilities fail to abide by protocols designed by the law to protect the elderly from abuse and neglect, thus exposing residents to dangerous risks.
If people are concerned about how their family member is being treated and they suspect that mistreatment is occurring, they should immediately report their findings to the facility, their state of residence, or the local authorities. Talking about the alleged concerns and not filing a formal complaint will often do very little to solve the problem and during this lag time, residents could continue to be mistreated and abused.
Experts warn that often, residents who are being abused may neglect to disclose their mistreatment out of fear of retribution. They may also be too debilitated to say anything themselves, thus relying on family members to communicate for them. Because nursing home abuse can be difficult to identify, people should be familiar with the signs that an elderly person is being mistreated. Likewise, they should act as an advocate in making sure that their loved one has a voice and can get the help that is needed if mistreatment is happening.
If families detect suspicious behavior that has them concerned that their loved one is being abused, they may wish to work with an attorney in filing a formal complaint. Legal professionals can simultaneously provide support while helping to gather evidence that can be used in filing a claim.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Davich: Complaints about nursing home abuse should be reported, not rumored," Jerry Davich, Jul. 9, 2019