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What can you do if you think your loved one is a victim of abuse?

The last thing any child wants to find out is that his or her mother or father has been abused in a nursing home. You choose the facility you do because you trust the people there. You believe they'll treat your loved ones like family. That, sadly, isn't always the way things work out.

What can you do if you suspect nursing home abuse taking place where your parent resides? Here are a few things to remember.

If you make a written complaint, it may go to the state

Sometimes, when something needs to be done quickly, getting complaints in writing is the way to go. Complaints are supposed to be relayed to the state. This can also spur the director or others to take immediate steps to resolve issues that have come up in the home.

Don't be afraid to speak up quickly

Talk to the nursing home director if you believe there is anything inappropriate happening in the nursing home. Just bringing up a concern can start an investigation and help you know that the facility takes your concerns seriously.

Follow the right channels to make a report

First, talk to the person who you think is causing a problem. Maybe you think the nurse is a little too rough or that you'd like to see the medications for your loved one delivered in a timelier manner. Talk to the nurses and make sure you make yourself clear about the problems you're seeing.

If this doesn't work, talk to the supervisor or home's administrator. Finally, make a written complaint and contact your state ombudsman. Your attorney can help you take steps to keep your loved one safe while handling the legal implications of nursing home abuse.

Source: Aging Care, "What to Do If You Suspect Abuse in Your Parent's Retirement Home," Carol Bradley Bursack, accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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