Learning that your elderly loved one has been abused in a nursing home, by a home health aide, or in some other situation is devastating. You do the best you can to find your loved one a safe and healthy environment, but sometimes unforeseeable events happen. If your loved one is the victim of neglect or abuse, it is time to take action and get help. Here, I will discuss some of the steps that you can take to get your family help and heal from this experience.
Step #1: Remove Your Loved One From the Abusive Environment
The most important thing to do after learning about abuse is making sure that it does not happen again. If a home health aide abused your loved one, fire them. If your loved one experienced abuse in a home, try to get them out of the nursing home as soon as possible. Sometimes nursing home contracts will make this difficult, but you can work with a lawyer to handle the situation and prevent any future abuse.
Step #2: Contact the Police
As soon as possible after you learn of abuse, you should contact the police. Fraud, abuse, and neglect are crimes, and the police can take action against perpetrators. This can hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions and prevent future abuse to other people.
Step #3: Get Injuries Checked Out
If your loved one sustained physical injuries from physical or sexual abuse, take them to a doctor that you trust and have their injuries recorded. Do this as soon as possible, since physical injuries can fade. Make sure that the doctor does a thorough examination of your loved one and records any injuries. You can also take photographs of these injuries to use in the future. Specific information about injuries will be useful if you decide to file a personal injury case in the future. Even if you think that you won’t file a personal injury case, it is better to have the evidence if you change your mind later than to not have it.
If your loved one sustained emotional or psychological injuries, these issues can be documented by contacting a therapist or psychologist. While these types of injuries are more difficult to document than physical injuries, getting the help of a professional will be useful.
Step #4: Contact a Therapist
It is a good idea to seek professional help to assist your loved one in their recovery from abuse. Any type of abuse is a traumatic experience. Your loved one can work through these issues with the help of a professional.
Step #5: Contact an Attorney
Finally, it is a good idea to contact an attorney, whether you plan on filing a personal injury claim or not. A lawyer can answer any legal questions that your family has. They can help you determine if you have a case and what to do if you want to file one. They can handle any legal issues at this time so that you can focus on helping your family recover from this experience. To speak with a lawyer today, contact my office at 203-208-3065.