More than 7 million people over the age of 65 required long-term care in 2014. In 2015, almost 1.4 million of these people were in a nursing home. A nursing home offers the most extensive care a person can get outside of a hospital.
While most nursing homes offer excellent care, some residents suffer abuse or neglect while living there. Abuse is intentional infliction of injury, physically or mentally, while neglect refers to a failure to provide a person with the care and services necessary to ensure freedom from harm or pain. This problem hit the news in Raleigh earlier this year, when someone put a camera in her father’s room, catching the staff treating her father poorly. Another case of mistreatment at a facility owned by the same group was just reported here in Lillington, NC.
If you feel uneasy about your loved one’s care, here are some signs of abuse or neglect at a nursing home.
What You Can Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
A Note About Cameras
It may be illegal in North Carolina to use a camera to spy on staff. Speak to your lawyer about this issue if you have questions.
Steps to Report Nursing Home Abuse
If you don’t feel your loved one is in imminent danger, talk first with the person administering hands-on care. If things don’t change, speak with the floor supervisor, and then the home administrator.
However, if things still aren’t getting better, contact the North Carolina ombudsman. The ombudsman office handles customer complaints for government-regulated agencies. You can also file a complaint with the NC Division of Health Service Regulation. You may also file a complaint with your local Department of Social Services. DSS will do an investigation and can fine the nursing home if they find they are not compliant with the laws and regulations.
Keep open communication with both your loved one and the staff at his/her nursing home. Feel free to contact us for questions and help with elder law and nursing home abuse.
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