Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you suspect nursing home abuse, it is your responsibility to act on your loved one’s behalf to get help as soon as possible. However, you may not be sure where to turn to for help. You also may not know what will happen to your loved one after you report the abuse.
It depends somewhat on the situation. For example, if your loved one is in immediate danger, you should call 911 to summon emergency services. However, if your loved one is not in immediate danger, there are other channels you can use to report the abuse.
If your loved one is not under immediate threat, you can report the suspected abuse to either your long-term care ombudsman or Adult Protective Services for your state. Either should be able to assist you with a report of potential elder abuse in a nursing home. APS has slightly more authority than the long-term care ombudsman has. The former can handle reports of elder abuse in any situation, while the latter is intended to deal specifically with incidents that occur in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Both agencies are prepared to conduct their own investigation into the abuse, so you do not need to provide proof of your suspicions. However, any information you can provide about your loved one’s condition and the type of mistreatment you suspect may be helpful.
Ultimately, the responsibility for investigating reports of possible elder abuse falls to either law enforcement or Adult Protective Services. APS can direct the victim to crisis intervention services as needed. If not, it will assign a caseworker to investigate the situation and work with other agencies to provide the services that the individual needs.
Bear in mind, however, that APS respects the rights of the elderly individual. This includes the right to refuse the services offered by APS if the individual has the capacity to do so. It is only as a last resort that APS may ask the court to declare the individual incapacitated and have a guardian appointed. However, if your loved one has already been declared incapacitated and you have become his or her legal guardian, decision-making power then shifts to you, and the APS will respect that.
Nursing home abuse is a frightening and disheartening situation that warrants immediate action. An attorney, like a nursing home abuse lawyer in Longwood, FL from David & Philpot, P.L., can understand how confused you may be by the situation, and can carefully explain your legal options to you. You can contact a law office to arrange a consultation.