As our loved ones age, they may need additional care and attention. They may need to be placed in a nursing home. While you entrust these facilities with your loved one, they may have staff that makes the conditions unlivable. The staff may abuse or neglect your loved one causing not only physical but emotional scars as well. This treatment can also impact their overall quality of life and their health can deteriorate. In some of the worst cases, this treatment can lead to an early death. If you suspect abuse or neglect it is important that you take the proper steps to report and contact a Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney.
Who can report abuse
While many states require everyone in the state to report nursing home abuse, Pennsylvania only requires administrators and employees to report abuse. The facilities where abuse can and does happen and should be reported include:
- Adult day programs
- Home care agencies
- Nursing home facilities
- Personal care homes
- Residential treatment facilities
- Domiciliary care home
Other agencies and organizations that receive public funding are also required to report abuse. Of course, if your loved one is a victim you have the right to report the abuse as well.
Nursing home administrator
All nursing homes in the state are required to have a system in place to handle allegations and complaints. At the first suspicion, you should contact the Director of Nursing or the Nursing Home Administrator to discuss your concerns. This also provides documentation of your complaint should you need to file a suit with the help of a Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney.
Pennsylvania Department of Aging
There are several ways that you can file a complaint through the department of health and department of aging including:
- Online complaint form
- Postal service
When you report abuse there will be some information that you are required to provide. You will need your name and contact information. You will also need to provide the name of the victim and the facility’s name and address. You will need to provide details of the suspected abuse. Your information will not be released to the facility. A Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney can help you file a complaint with the state as well as a lawsuit against the facility and the corporation they work under.
Things to know when reporting
If you find that your loved one is in a life-threatening situation it is imperative to skip every step and call 911 immediately. If there is no immediate danger then the aforementioned steps apply. It is important to know that you do not need to see the abuse happen yourself, you do however need to have reasonable suspicion. Reporting is anonymous as we mentioned earlier. You will not face criminal or civil liability as long as you do not file a report maliciously.
What happens after you report the abuse?
After you have reported abuse the Department of Health will assign an employee to investigate the claim. They will speak with your loved one if they are coherent, as well as speak with the facility. They will also examine the facility and ensure that all standards are met. The agency will also speak to other residents of the facility. If there is a clear danger present your loved one may be removed in order to obtain proper medical care.
You should keep in mind the yearly inspections are conducted and a correctional plan may need to be submitted if issues arise. There are instances where the conditions and lack of care are so egregious that criminal investigations can be opened against the facility and the staff.