Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect – How to Keep Your Loved One Safe

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect – How to Keep Your Loved One Safe

Abuse and neglect at nursing homes is a topic that has recently gained a lot of attention in both national and local news. In many instances, nursing homes are fined by federal and state agencies for these violations, but sadly these fines do nothing to compensate the victim or the families who have suffered this great injustice. What’s more, the Five-Star Quality Rating System, a program designed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help the elderly and their families choose a quality nursing home, often falls short of expectations. What can you do to protect your loved one living in a nursing home? Dennis VanDerGinst, CEO of VanDerGinst Law, P.C., provides some helpful suggestions.

“You can’t always trust the Five Star System,” says VanDerGinst, noting that the ratings may not always represent the true history of the facility, especially those facilities that behave differently when they know they are under inspection. Furthermore, VanDerGinst notes you can’t trust the reports concerning your loved one from the facilities themselves. “Of course they aren’t going to tell you anything that may get them into trouble,” he says.

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What you can do, however, is be an advocate for your loved one by looking out for red flags that could suggest abuse or neglect. “One of the most common red flags is bedsores,” says VanDerGinst. “If you have a loved one who is bedridden, you need to look to see if these are occurring.” Bedsores could indicate improper care by the facility staff who is supposed to be taking measures to prevent them. “If you notice your loved one’s eyes are drawn or his or her skin seems sunken, that could be a sign of dehydration,” he adds.

Other signs to look out for include bruising, especially in odd places, as well as falls, fractures, weight loss, and stolen medication, refer to our article, “Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse” for more information. The best way to monitor for these signs is to make a trip to the nursing home and inspect them yourself. Of course, that’s not always possible for some people, and VanDerGinst offers video monitoring as an alternative suggestion. “Sometimes the facility offers this service,” he notes. “If not, you will need to check to see if your jurisdiction allows recording without one’s prior knowledge and consent.” You may need to check with the nursing home to ensure you aren’t breaking any policies, as well as any roommates that may be sharing a room with your loved one. 

Ultimately, if you do find abuse or neglect is occurring, the only way to seek justice is to pursue litigation with a qualified personal injury attorney. If the incident also resulted in a fine, this can assist the attorney in building evidence to support your case, although it is not necessary.  If you believe your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, do not delay—call an attorney at VanDerGinst Law today.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to nursing home neglect and/or abuse, contact VanDerGinst Law today. We have knowledgeable and experienced attorneys who can help guide you through the complexities of your case and help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve. The consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we win. Call VanDerGinst Law at 800-797-5391. The law is tough, being injured is tougher. We’ll make it easier for you.


The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.

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