If you have a loved one in the nursing home, you want to know that they are being cared for properly. When your loved one has a complaint, you may feel uncomfortable bringing the issue to the staff or administration of the facility itself. The ombudsman program is a federal program, which places a representative in each nursing home facility to act on behalf of all the residents. If you have a concern that you want brought up anonymously to the facility, you can talk to the ombudsman and report your complaint.
When You Suspect Outright Abuse
When your loved one has an injury, or they have told you they have been assaulted, they have a right to talk about their concerns with an attorney. You can ask to speak to the ombudsman and let them know that you suspect abuse. They may have resources that you have not thought of, and may be able to guide you in the process of filing an official complaint against the facility. While an ombudsman is always a neutral party, they are volunteers that want the rights of all residents within a facility protected.
When It’s Time to Call an Attorney
If your loved one has been seriously injured, or is reporting that they were sexually assaulted, it’s time to contact an attorney on their behalf. While you may choose to not pursue the case further, going to an attorney for an initial consultation is your best way to see if there is any recourse for the injuries your loved one has sustained. The individual responsible for your loved one’s injuries may have a history of such behavior, and by pursuing a claim against the facility, you will be effectively stopping that individual from perpetrating further abuse on future residents.
If you are worried about a loved one who has told you of nursing home abuse, it’s time to get them the help they deserve.