If you’ve discovered an Iowa nursing home has been abusing your loved one, it makes sense that you’d want to remove them from that facility. Below are a few tips on how to take your family member out of a harmful facility:
What Type of Abuse is Occurring?
Identifying how your loved one is being abused is the first step. There are a few types of abuse that can happen in Iowa nursing homes:
- Physical abuse – This is often the most obvious type of abuse. Unexplained bruising, tooth or hair loss, or strap burns from restraints can indicate physical abuse.
- Emotional abuse – It’s unlikely emotional abuse happens when you are present. Instead, look for behaviors that indicate possible emotional abuse, like mood swings, low self-esteem, depression, or sudden shyness.
- Financial abuse – Unauthorized use of your loved one’s bank accounts, or their ATM card; forged signatures on car titles, or other financial documents; or suspicious changes to legal documents can all indicate financial abuse.
Negligence is also a problem in many Iowa nursing homes. Residents can go without the proper food, water, or care that they need. This is often a result of understaffing. Negligence should be considered as serious as abuse.
Once you have identified neglect or abuse is occurring, you will likely want to move them out of the facility. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Have another Iowa Nursing Home Set Up
Unless you are able to take care of your loved one at home temporarily, it’s a good idea to have a new facility lined up before you decide to move them. Do your research and find a nursing home that has a better patient-to-staff ratio. The less patients each staff member cares for, the less likely your loved one will be neglected.
As you can imagine, the current facility may not react well to your allegations of abuse or neglect. To protect your loved one from any retaliation, be sure you’re ready to move them quickly.
Contact the Authorities and File a Complaint about the Nursing Home Abuse
Contact your local police department or county attorney to report your findings of abuse or neglect. The evidence that you have collected could be crucial in bringing criminal charges.
You should also contact the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals to report suspected nursing home abuse. If your loved one was abused, then it’s likely other residents are being treated badly as well. A formal complaint will trigger an investigation by the Department of Inspections and Appeals into your claims. They will interview potential witnesses, observe the staff, and review records to determine if your claims are substantiated.
Hire an Experienced Iowa Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Elder abuse is underreported in the United States. Often our elderly are disrespected and neglected by the very people we entrust and pay to take care of them. If your loved one has been abused or neglected in an Iowa nursing home, you should speak to a knowledgeable Iowa nursing home abuse attorney. Our team at RSH Legal offers a free initial consultation. Call us today at 1-319-774-1783.