The Importance of Reporting Nursing Home and Elder Abuse

Our Maryland elder abuse lawyers recently discussed the vastly under reported problem of elder financial abuse among vulnerable seniors across the country, that according to a recent study estimated financial losses of at least $2.6 billion per year.

Under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, it is a violation of Federal and State law for any person, including nursing home facility staff, visitors, facility volunteers, guardians or other residents to engage in nursing home abuse or neglect.

Experts are stressing the importance of public awareness of elder abuse and neglect in communities, as our related Baltimore nursing home neglect blog recently discussed and how important it is for healthcare providers, families, bankers, or even church members—anyone who might be privy to information that could indicate that a senior is being abused physically, emotionally or financially–to come forward and report the abuse.

According to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (NCCNHR) anyone can and should report abuse and neglect. If a nursing home resident tells you they are being abused:

• Always believe the resident and report the allegations immediately to prevent any other suffering by the resident.

• Many state laws require the reporting of nursing home abuse and neglect–find out what your state laws.

When filing a report, make sure to put your report in writing, date it and keep a copy of it. Include as much evidence as possible about the abuse and remember to include:

• The name, age and address of the victim. Also include the name of nursing home facility and the name of the people responsible for the care, along with the person who you believe is responsible for abuse or neglect.
• Include the nature of the abuse, and the extent of harm as well as any physical signs of elder abuse. If there were any previous incidents of abuse, write down every detail of what happened.
• Remember to add the location of the place that the incident happened, and the time and date of the incident.
• Always include as much background information as possible to help an investigator to address the incident and situation quickly.

After filing a report the NCCNHR states that it is necessary to keep trying until you get the help that you need. Always follow up with the resident and nursing home to make sure that the nursing home abuse and neglect has stopped. Also, the NCCNHR stresses the importance of following up with the person or agency responsible for conducting the abuse investigation, and to ask for any written findings that are allowed by law.

Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC represent victims of nursing home abuse and negligence. Contact our attorneys today at 1-800-654-1949 for a free consultation.

Financial abuse costs elderly billions, MSNBC.com,

Related Web Resources:

What is Abuse: Why Should I Care About Elder Abuse?, National Center on Elder Abuse, NCEA
What is Elder Abuse?, Department of Health & Human Services: Administration on Aging
Frequently Asked Questions, National Center on Elder Abuse, NCEA

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Related Blog Posts:

Elder Abuse—the Financial Exploitation of Seniors and Nursing Home Residents, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, April 1, 2011
Hollywood Legend Mickey Rooney Testifies in Congress About Elder Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, March 30, 2011
Types of Elder Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, March 8, 2011

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