You have noticed that something has not been right the last few times you visited your father who now lives in a nursing home. He seems more agitated and skittish than usual. There is fear and anxiety along with some bruises on his face and arms.

This is a concerning situation. You had heard stories about elder abuse and, initially, hesitated in placing your father in a nursing home. Now, your intuition tells you that your dad has become a victim of elder abuse. It is time to take action and protect your father.

Confront administrators, document everything

If you suspect abuse at the nursing home, take it seriously and act promptly. Here are some steps to take:

  • Have a discussion with your loved one who may be hesitant to divulge information about the abuse. However, trust your instincts and closely monitor the situation.
  • Document every story your loved one tells you, take photographs of any injuries sustained, keep all related medical records. You want to prove your case if need be.
  • Install a surveillance camera in your loved one’s room. Video will confirm incidents of abuse.
  • Contact administrators at the facility. They should take this accusation seriously. The nursing home also should have steps in place addressing such grievances.
  • Understand that a nursing home resident’s rights include being free from abuse, neglect and discrimination.
  • File a complaint with the state agency that oversees the nursing home if you’re are not satisfied with the response from nursing home administrators.
  • Demand changes from nursing home administrators and become a regular visitor there with a regular presence there.
  • If able to do so, move your loved one into another facility. This may be difficult due to waiting lists and other matters, but it is possible.
  • Seek the advice of a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney who specialized in elder abuse law.

Sadly, elder abuse occurs. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of abuse at a nursing home, take the steps to alleviate the situation.