Reporting Abuse in Nursing Homes
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:
- Kentucky Adult Protective Services and General Adult Services—(502) 564-7043
- Kentucky Long Term Care Ombudsman—(502) 564-6930 ext. 3536 or (800) 372-2991
- Kentucky Department for Public Health—(888) 973-7678
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.