Sadly, nursing home abuse is a prevalent issue throughout Indiana and across the United States. Elderly individuals are often vulnerable, frail and cognitively impaired, making them prime targets for abuse and neglect. If a loved one of a nursing home resident suspects mistreatment of any kind, he or she should report the suspected ill-treatment as soon as possible.
According to Medicare.gov, the first step one should take is to talk to the staff involved. Often, supervisors and other staff members have no idea what is going on, and so, they therefore cannot remedy the situation. Below are a few persons whom a loved one should notify of suspected abuse:
- The supervisor
- The director of nursing
- The social worker
- The administrator
- The doctor
If, after discussing one’s concerns with the aforementioned individuals, the suspected abuse continues, Indiana.gov recommends filing a complaint with The Division of Long Term Care of the Indiana State Department of Health. A person can file a complaint by calling the department or by writing or emailing.
One should note that the department has certain guidelines for filing a complaint via writing. A person should include the most basic information such as the name of the facility, the city in which the facility is located and the date of the event. If there is no specific date, the person should do his or her best to recall the time period relative to when the suspected incident occurred. One should also address the shift during which one observed the concern.
The department also needs information regarding the individuals involved. If a suspicious loved one does not have any specific names, he or she should attempt to identify the negligent department.
Finally, the complaint should include specifics of the event. The more detailed a complaint is, the more likely the department will be to take the complaint seriously.
Timely reporting is best. Not only does timely reporting ensure one can gather all the information necessary to make a report but also, it can assist the department in making an accurate and thorough investigation.