old man in nursing home

Legal Steps to Take in a Nursing Home Abuse Case

We entrust our loved ones to the nursing home service with a hope that they can spend their life among others of the same age and with nurses who can give full-time attention to them. However, nursing home abuse is not uncommon.

According to WHO, more than sixty percent of nursing home staff admitted committing some form of abuse to the elderly. Surprisingly, both men and women are at equal risk. Those with mental impairments, however, are more vulnerable than the healthy ones.

By referring to those facts, now we can see how vital legal knowledge is. Here are the legal steps that you can take if you encounter a nursing home abuse case.

Note the Story Thoroughly

Seniors often have difficulties in memorizing information. They may tell you the whole story of the abuse, or they may give you only hints. In whatever cases, it is essential to listen to the elderly and take a detailed note of his/her account. Also, you must not immediately undermine their complaints. Seniors have a sensitive feeling. If they think that you no longer trust them, they will hold all the pain by themselves.

At this point, you must think of whether the abuse is still tolerable or not. Sometimes, what has been perceived as an abusive act is a result of negligence. And an overcrowded nursing home may run out of resources and staff to accommodate the needs of all the seniors. However, you must not verify your suspicion directly to the nursing home as you have not gathered enough evidence. What you can do instead is to make a close observation and match the facts with the story from your elderly relative.

Also, you need to realize that abuse does not necessarily cause bruises or injuries. Verbal abuse is also a case. Negligence that leads to an injury is also a form of abuse. This violation can take many shapes but with the same harmful impact toward the victim. And you should side yourself with the injured party, not the perpetrator.

Consulting a Lawyer

The next logical step to take after convincing yourself about the validity of the abuse story is to bring the case to justice. But before the court proceeding, you should have it consulted with a lawyer.

During this step, you must remember that lawyers work based on their specialties. Family lawyers handle divorces, prenuptial agreement, and custody battles. Taxation lawyers defend their clients from exorbitant penalties. And in the nursing home abuse case, you are going to need the legal assistance from a skilled nursing home lawyer.

Spreading the News

Still based on WHO data, abuse cases toward elderly people are the least reported ones. The seniors lack the determination for justice and even the courage to speak up, and you must not blame them for those attitudes. Instead, you can help to create an environment that can protect senior citizens by telling your stories to others.

Your bravery to stand up for your elderly relative can inspire others to pay more attention to the wellbeing of senior citizens. Besides, when you deal with the matter according to the law, you also contribute to influencing others to be a law-abiding person.