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Reporting Abuse in Nursing Homes

There are many steps you can take on your own to help reduce and prevent abuse from occurring at nursing homes across the state of Kentucky. One of the easiest and most effective ways to help prevent abuse from occurring is to simply visit your loved one at the facility. Frequent visits to a nursing home keep the staff on their toes. If the employees know that at any moment a family member could stop by, they are less likely to cut corners or be careless. If you can, it’s best to visit at different times of the day and on different days of the week, making sure not to forget the weekend. This will allow you to a get a feel for how things operate on different shifts. It is important to understand how your loved one will be treated at meal times, during peak hours, and during slow periods/downtime.

While you are visiting, it is a good idea to pay attention to the behavior of your loved one. For example, are they acting how they normally would or do they seem distant or worried? It also recommended to notice how they are dressed. Are their clothes clean or does it seem like they have been wearing them for a long time? Do you notice any bruises, red marks, sores or other signs of abuse or neglect? Finally, does your loved one seem like they are being well taken care of or do they seem like they may not being getting enough food or water? Does it seem like they have not been bathed recently? It is important to understand these signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect so you know what to watch out for.

If you suspect that abuse or neglect is occurring, your first step should be to contact the nursing home directly. Don’t be scared to address the issue head-on. The employees are the people who have the power to effect change at the facility. Even if you suspect a particular individual as the responsible party, it’s best to start at the source. Furthermore, you never know who will be willing to discuss the nursing home’s practices with you. Someone might be looking for a reason to speak out.
Another step you can take if you suspect or have witnessed abuse at a Kentucky nursing home is to report it to the Kentucky entity responsible for regulating nursing homes: The Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division of Health Care Facilities and Services. Other helpful agencies to contact include:

Finally, you can contact The Higgins Firm to learn more about your legal options. Our knowledgeable Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse lawyers are willing to sit down with you and discuss all courses of action available to you and your loved ones. Call today for a free consultation.