I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse – What Do I Do?

Discovering that a loved one may be experiencing abuse or neglect in a nursing home is a devastating realization. The experience is entirely unknown for most families, and a million questions arise. Almost always, the first questions are, “What do I do? Is this illegal? Who can I trust?” 

The Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst attorneys are experienced Oklahoma personal injury lawyers specializing in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We understand the urgency of these situations, and we’re ready to stand with our clients as they seek justice after nursing home neglect and abuse. 

In this short guide, we’ll provide you with the necessary steps to take if you suspect nursing home abuse. We believe it will empower you to protect your loved one’s rights and seek justice. If you’re ready for a free case evaluation, contact us today

Most importantly, if your loved one needs immediate medical care, please call 911 or take them to the nearest hospital.

First, Know Your Loved One’s Rights 

In Oklahoma, several laws, including the Nursing Home Care Act and other state and federal regulations, are designed to safeguard the well-being of residents in assisted living, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities.

Within these facilities, residents are entitled to a range of rights, including:

  • Autonomy in personal decisions and social, religious, and community activities.
  • Respectful and courteous treatment from staff and caregivers.
  • Services and treatment aligned with their preferences, provided they can maintain health and safety standards.
  • Protection from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and unnecessary restraints.
  • Privacy in communication and medical treatment decisions, with autonomy over their healthcare.
  • Ownership and use of personal belongings within the facility.
  • The right to lodge complaints without fear of retaliation or discrimination, including the ability to report abuse or crimes to law enforcement.
  • Spousal visitation rights and the ability to manage their financial affairs.

The Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst team always reminds people that nursing home abuse extends beyond physical harm. In our many years as Oklahoma nursing home abuse lawyers, we have seen emotional abuse and neglect as prevalent issues. 

Emotional abuse is often an under-acknowledged violation of the expected standard of care in these facilities. All forms of abuse should be promptly reported to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.

Recognizing Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

The first step in addressing nursing home abuse is recognizing the signs. Common indicators of abuse and neglect include unexplained injuries, bedsores, sudden changes in behavior or mood, malnutrition, dehydration, poor hygiene, and medication errors. Trusting your instincts and taking any concerns seriously is essential, as even subtle signs can indicate underlying issues.

We’ve previously written about five common signs of nursing home neglect and abuse, and we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the signs if you currently have a loved one at a long-term care facility or if you plan to move to a facility. 

Report Suspected Abuse

If you suspect abuse or neglect, you should report it immediately. 

Victims of abuse and their families can contact Oklahoma Adult Protective Services. Oklahoma Adult Protective Services makes reporting very straightforward through their reporting website, OKhotline.org, or by calling the Abuse and Neglect hotline at 1-800-522-3511.

However, if you believe your loved one needs immediate help, call 911 for an immediate emergency response. 

Once you have notified Adult Protective Services, they must investigate your reports. If your allegations have substantial evidence, Oklahoma Adult Protective Services will help the victim leave the situation and take steps to ensure that it will never happen again. Adult Protective Services can provide medical assistance and other support following situations of Oklahoma nursing home neglect and abuse.

Additionally, you should also notify the nursing home administrator regarding your complaints,  and  file a complaint with  the department of human services, so they too can investigate your allegations against the facility.  

Document Evidence

Once you suspect nursing home abuse, it’s important to begin documenting evidence immediately. Document any visible injuries or changes in your loved one’s condition, take photographs, and keep detailed records of incidents, including dates, times, and descriptions. 

Should you decide to pursue legal action and sue a nursing home for neglect or abuse, the team at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst can help you with evidence gathering. We often work with our clients to collect witness statements, medical records, and document communication with nursing home staff. This evidence will be invaluable in building a strong case against the negligent parties.

Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Navigating the legal process of nursing home abuse claims can be complicated. That’s where our team at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst can help. As experienced personal injury lawyers specializing in nursing home abuse and neglect cases in Oklahoma, we have the knowledge, resources, and legal team to help you seek justice for your loved one. We’ll thoroughly investigate the allegations, gather evidence, and stand with your family.

Our Oklahoma City-based nursing home abuse and neglect legal team has many decades of combined experience seeking justice for victims of nursing home neglect. Our team will stand with you and always seek to effect change that rids the nursing home industry of the “profit over people” mentality. 

Contact us if you’re ready for a free case evaluation. 

Understand Your Legal Options

Many people find the support received from Oklahoma Adult Protective Services is insufficient in various ways after nursing home abuse, or perhaps the legal inquiry following a report did not adequately ensure the abuse doesn’t happen to others. In situations like these, many families can turn to civil litigation to help prove nursing home neglect and hold responsible parties accountable.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the nursing home, staff members, or other parties responsible for the abuse.. Our legal team can explain your rights and guide you through the legal process every step of the way.

Seek Justice in Oklahoma After Nursing Home Abuse 

The team at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst is here to provide the support, guidance, and legal representation you need to hold negligent parties accountable and seek justice for your loved one. 

If you suspect nursing home abuse in Oklahoma, contact us for a free consultation. We stand with you! 

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I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse – What Do I Do?

In this short guide, we’ll provide you with the necessary steps to take if you suspect nursing home abuse. We believe it will empower you to protect your loved one’s rights and seek justice. If you’re ready for a free case evaluation, contact us today.

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