When your parents start to age and require more attention, you can be faced with a difficult decision. Do you focus your attention on them, or do you continue to keep your kids, spouse, and job a priority? As parents age, it is not uncommon for children to place them in a nursing facility where they can receive hands-on care. Placing your parents in the hands of someone you do not know can be stressful. About 1.3 million elderly adults in the United States live in a nursing home. Unfortunately, about 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced abuse. Because of this, it is important that you know what to do if you suspect elder abuse with your elderly parent.
Look for Signs of Abuse
Elder abuse does not always show itself right off. Your aging parent may not come out and share with you if they are experiencing abuse and may not even know it. It is important that you do not rely on your parent to share with you whether they are being abused or neglected. When you see them, you need to look for signs that could point to potential abuse. Unexplained weight loss, lack of hygiene, and missing personal property are just a few signs that could indicate abuse and neglect is occurring.
Contact the Nursing-Home Administrators
The moment you think your loved one is being abused or neglected, you need to communicate your concerns to the proper administrators. Do not be afraid to take your concerns all the way to the top. The nursing-home staff members should all be aware of your concerns so that the matter is handled quickly. Ask for all medical records to see whether there have been any changes in your parent's health. If your concerns are not being met, then you need to contact a lawyer immediately.
Talk to a Personal-Injury Lawyer
If your loved one is being abused or neglected while residing in a nursing home, you may have grounds for criminal charges and a possible civil suit. Your attorney will help you communicate with the nursing home and get the information needed to decide whether there is abuse occurring. Additionally, an attorney will help push the case forward so that all deadlines are met should you need to file a personal-injury case. Having an attorney on your side can help with the investigation and provide you with the information you need to make decisions about your loved one's care.
Talk to a firm such as Dunnigan & Messier P.C. for more information.