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Nursing homes are a common option for families with aging loved ones that require more care than they are able to provide them in their homes. Families place a lot of trust in these homes to ensure the safety and well-being of their loved ones. However, in some cases, nursing homes fail to live up to this trust. There are cases where the elderly entrusted to these homes are abused or neglected. In these instances, filing a nursing home complaint is the best way to protect the rights of your loved one.
Before you file a complaint
When you entrust your loved one to a nursing home, you do so with the belief that your loved one will be well taken care of. Many families believe that nursing homes are the safest option for their aging loved ones. It can, therefore, be a terrible shock to discover that your loved one has been abused or neglected by the same people you entrusted their care to.
Reports of nursing home abuse and neglect are on the rise all over the country. It is therefore important to be on the lookout for signs of abuse or neglect in your aging loved one. These may include:
- Complaints from your loved one
Take the time to listen to your loved one. Have they complained about anything? If your loved one is able to communicate, don’t hesitate to report any complaints of abuse or neglect they may have while living in a nursing home.
- Sudden or unusual changes in your loved one’s behavior
These may include not wanting to be touched, becoming withdrawn, agitated or non-communicative, biting, or rocking. These are common signs to look out for especially in those that have difficulty in communicating. Some residents who are afraid or hesitant to report abuse or neglect may exhibit these changes in behavior too.
- Unexplained physical changes in your loved one
These include rapid weight loss or weight gain, mouth sores, poor wound healing, dental difficulties, or easy bruising. Also, look for any signs of malnutrition.
- Physical signs of neglect or abuse
These may include bed sores, dehydration, poor hygiene, infection, and sepsis.
In many instances, residents are afraid to report abuse because they fear retribution by the staff at the nursing home. It is important to identify the signs and symptoms of neglect before serious complications such as serious injuries or even death occur.
How to File a Nursing Home Complaint in Lynnwood
If you believe that your loved one was abused or neglected while residing in a nursing home, it is important to file a nursing home abuse claim. Filing a complaint against the nursing home is the first step to holding those responsible for the abuse or neglect accountable for their actions. It is also an important step in protecting other residents from suffering the same abuse or neglect as it will help to stop those responsible. Filing a nursing home complaint is the best way to improve the overall quality of care in these facilities.
There are several steps involved in filing a complaint against a nursing home in Lynnwood.
- Consult a personal injury lawyer
If you suspect that your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, it is important to determine whether you have a valid case against the nursing home or not. Talking to an experienced personal injury attorney is a great way to determine this. An attorney will investigate your claim and help you proceed with filing your complaint if it has merit. It is best to begin the process as soon as possible after the incident occurs.
Some people opt to file the complaint without legal representation. While this is perfectly acceptable, you run a higher risk of your complaint not being successful. If you want to increase your chances of success, you should seek the services of an experienced lawyer.
2. Talk to the staff at the nursing home and file a written grievance
If you hire a personal injury lawyer, they will represent you in approaching the nursing home to make a formal complaint. Your lawyer will send the nursing home a letter outlining your grievances and the actions you plan to take.
3. Contact your local Long-Term Care ombudsman
Every state has a long-term care ombudsman office. This office was set up to promote and protect the rights of senior citizens living in nursing homes and other residential care facilities. The office works with residents to address their concerns relating to their health and safety. Complaints about nursing home abuse or neglect should be filed with this office, especially if you do not have legal representation.
4. File the complaint with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)
An official complaint should be filed with the DSHS. This complaint should include a detailed description of the incident and what you would like the department to do for you. An experienced attorney can file your complaint on your behalf.
Choose an Experienced Lawyer
Filing a nursing home complaint in Lynnwood is not as simple as it may seem. Many complaints are thrown out for not meeting the legal threshold. If you want to improve your chances of obtaining justice for your loved one, contact the law firm of Martin W. Hodges.
Martin Hodges is an experienced personal injury attorney with years of experience in representing victims of nursing home abuse or neglect. Contact our law firm for free consultation with Martin Hodges. You can rely on his extensive experience to evaluate your case and determine the best action to take to obtain justice.
Discovering that your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect by people you trusted to take care of them can be devastating. We understand just how difficult it is for families seeking justice for their aging loved ones. We pride ourselves in building attorney-client relationships based on trust and cooperation. We’ll provide you with the support and assistance you need during this difficult time.
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Last update of the article: 08/18/2020.