What Should You Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect?
The state of Washington extends certain rights to the residents of nursing homes. Among these is the right to safe, clean and comfortable living conditions.
If you notice signs of nursing home neglect, these steps can protect your loved one and help to ensure no one else suffers in the same way.
Take Immediate Action
As soon as you notice potential neglect, you should act quickly, even if you only have vague suspicions. Document your concerns in writing and take pictures of any physical signs of neglect, including injuries or unclean conditions. If you believe your loved one’s life is in danger, call 911 right away and make alternative living arrangements.
Alert the Facility’s Administration
Inform the administrator of the nursing home immediately. This will encourage management to take action to remedy your concerns and monitor the behavior of employees. It also shows the administration that you are carefully watching the condition of your loved one.
Make sure to notify the administration in writing, as well. This record may be important if you need to pursue legal remedies in the future.
Report the Incident to State Authorities
You should notify the appropriate state authorities about an incident of neglect. You can do this in a few different ways, including:
File a complaint with your local representative of the Long-Term Care OMbusdman Program
Call the Department of Social and Health Services Complaint Unit
Report your concerns to Adult Protective Services
Your loved one deserves quality care and dignity in his or her final years. If your family member has suffered neglect in a nursing home, you may have options to recover damages.