Bothered By What You Saw at Grandma’s MN Nursing Home?
Millions of Americans live in long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect aren’t as uncommon as we wish in these situations.
That’s why it vital that if you have a loved one living in a nursing home, you familiarize yourself with the signs of abuse and neglect, keep an eye out for them when you visit, and know what to do in order to help put a stop to any abuse.
Learn more below about nursing home abuse and neglect, how to report it, and legal actions you can take against a nursing home in Minnesota.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
First and foremost, you must establish if there is even anything to be concerned about regarding the treatment your loved one is receiving in a nursing home.
Caring for an elderly person is difficult, and it isn’t always what you imagine it will be. That said, it’s important to learn to look for these common signs of abuse and neglect to give you some idea of what may be going on:
- Head injuries
- Emotionally agitated or upset
- Withdrawn behavior
- Weight loss
- Unexplained injuries
- Reluctance to speak in front of staff members
- Unclean conditions
- Sudden and unusual changes in behaviors such as fear of being touched
- Desire to be isolated from others
- Frequent illness or illnesses not promptly reported to the family or physician
- Heavy sedation or medication
- Injuries that require hospitalization or emergency treatment
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Minnesota
If you suspect that there is abuse or neglect going on, then there are a few things you should do to report it. There are three primary points of contact you can (and should) make.
Contact the Proper Authorities
First, file a complaint with the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center. You can call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to report abuse either by phone or online. After the report is received, the appropriate investigative agency is contacted and given the details. It can be handled by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Health, or a county social services agency.
Contact the Doctor
Whoever is the primary care doctor for your loved one in a nursing home should also be contacted so that you can report your concerns. You may also reach out to any social worker or elder patient advocate they may have been assigned. It’s important that you do not seek advice from anyone directly related to the nursing home that your loved one resides in. They may not be reliable and could be looking out for their own best interests in the advice they give.
If you feel there is an emergency, don’t wait for help. Call 911 to get immediate attention. Don’t take chances with the health of your loved one by waiting if you feel they are in danger. Once they are removed from the situation, then you may need to contact an attorney to find out what you should do next.
Legal Options for Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse
If authorities find that your friend or a family member has been neglected or abused in a nursing home, then the facility can be held liable. The company that owns the facility and the individuals that come into contact with your friend or family member each have a duty of care to their patients. If that duty is violated and you can prove it in court, then you may be able to seek damages on behalf of your loved one.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is an emotional issue, but you have the power to do something about it if someone you care about is facing ill-treatment. Don’t wait!
About the Author:
Andrew T. Poole is a Minnesota native who has served in the Army for more than 18 years and is currently a JAG lawyer in the Army Reserves in addition to serving as a partner at LaCourse, Poole & Envall. He has handled thousands of criminal and family law cases over the course of his career and has a firm belief that all hardworking Minnesotans should be entitled to the best possible legal counsel. Mr. Poole boasts a 10/10 Superb rating on Avvo, is Lead Counsel rated, and has been recognized multiple times by SuperLawyers, National Trial Lawyers, and others for his work.