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Filing A Nursing Home Abuse Complaint

If you suspect that an elder or loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or that the facility is inadequately staffed or maintained, there are several steps you should take. First, file a complaint with the state in which you live. State health agencies are required by law to investigate complaints of nursing home abuse. In most jurisdictions, either APS (Adult Protection Services), the Area Agency on Aging, local State Department of Health Licensing or Certification office or to the main office of the state health agency, or the county Department of Social Services is designated as the agency to receive and investigate allegations of nursing home abuse and neglect. If the investigators find nursing home abuse or neglect, they make arrangements for services to help protect the victim.

Nursing home abuse complaints should include your:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Email address
  • Relationship to the victim of alleged offense

Nursing home abuse complaints should also include:

  • The resident's given name and any other name they go by.
  • The condition or medical problems leading to the resident's stay at the nursing home.
  • An outline of the nursing home abuse complaint that describes the circumstances and details of the problem. This should include time and dates when of the offense, the name and shift of applicable nursing home staff (or nursing home staff that you have discussed you have spoken to.
  • Any applicable nursing home medical records (i.e. needing to go to the emergency room or hospital). Make copies of these records to reduce the chance of the hospital mysteriously "misplacing" them.
  • If the complaint involves the death of an elder, obtain a copy of the autopsy, which should be included in your complaint to the state.
  • Nursing home abuse complaints do not need to be lengthy or overly complicated. They should, however, include all of the pertinent and applicable information to give the state health agencies the as much direction as possible.

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The State Takes Action

The state agent handling the nursing home abuse case is supposed to contact the individual who filed the complaint to discuss it in more detail. Many states tell you that they will contact you within a few days of receiving your complaint.
The agent is then supposed to make a surprise visit to the facility to investigate the specific nursing home abuse complaint. In the case that the alleged offense is found to be true, the state will take whatever steps they feel is appropriate.

Send a Copy to the Association for the Protection of the Elderly (APE)
Another important step when you send your nursing home abuse complaint into the state is to send a copy of the complaint to the Association for the Protection of the Elderly (APE). These organizations exist in most states and can assist you in making sure the state properly investigates the nursing home abuse complaint. Note that the state keeps these complaints confidential for the protection of the parties involved. Therefore, if you do not send a copy to APE, it will be extremely difficult for them to help you make sure the state takes the appropriate actions.

Legal Assistance
Alerting the state about a specific nursing home abuse offenses does not always bring you the justice that you and your loved ones deserve. Taking legal action is often the quickest and most direct route to obtaining justice for institutional elder abuse. Keep an extra copy of your complaint form(s) to present to your attorney.

To contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney, please click here.

 


HOMEPAGE - NURSING HOME ABUSE NEWS

AN OVERVIEW OF NURSING HOME ABUSE

INSTITUTIONAL ELDER ABUSE

GOVERNMENT ACTION AGAINST ELDER ABUSE

FILING A NURSING HOME ABUSE COMPLAINT

PROTECTING YOUR ELDER AGAINST NURSING HOME ABUSE

RESIDENT RIGHTS

SAMPLE NURSING HOME COMPLAINT FORM

NURSING HOME ABUSE FAQs

LINKS

CONTACT A NURSING HOME ABUSE ATTORNEY

SITE MAP

Resident Rights

Visitation

Equal Access

Grievances

Married Couples

Rights and Services

Protection of Funds

Privacy

Staff Treatment

 

Links

Nursing Home Abuse in the News

Organizations to Assist in Elder Abuse Cases

Information on Rules, Nursing Homes, etc.


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