Crimes against the elderly are serious, and immediate reporting could prevent death in cases of nursing home abuse.
Nursing home abuse can worsen if not reported. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of this crime, you will want the proper agencies to investigate immediately.
There are several ways to report abuse. You can call the nursing home abuse hotline, Adults Protective Services for your state, an ombudsman or your loved one’s doctor. With this call, you formally bring an investigation to check on what is going on. Even if you make the call to authorities, you can also contact an attorney to see what other options are available.
The process of the investigation and who takes part varies according to the state you live in. Here are some examples of who will investigate a claim of nursing home abuse.
- In New Mexico, Adult Protective Services will make a visit to verify neglect and refer the case to both an ombudsperson and a representative from the Department of Health. With sufficient evidence, the case moves upward for prosecution or fines.
- In Arkansas, filing a detailed complaint with the state’s Office of Long-Term Care will trigger an investigator to look into the situation. There is also an ombudsman program in place.
- In Colorado, the Department of Public Health investigates complaints against nursing homes. The department could conduct an off-site investigation or visit the facility.
Seeing the potential signs of elder abuse means it is time to take action. Whether you choose legal counsel or move through your state’s channels, it is important to protect your loved one from further harm.