Adult Protective Services in Utah investigate thousands of complaints of abuse and neglect in nursing homes each year. They prove many of them correct. Nursing home abuse is rampant, and it’s up to families, APS, and nursing home abuse lawyers to hold homes to account.
Your loved one could receive compensation with your help, and your action could get them into a better home and save their life. If you suspect nursing home abuse, call our nursing home abuse lawyers in Salt Lake City at 1Law for advice.
Nursing home abuse doesn’t have to be physical to qualify for a lawsuit. Neglect, financial exploitation, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse also qualify. Utah has strong regulations that allow investigators to step in and stop the problem.
If you are being abused as a resident, or you believe your family member is suffering abuse, your first step would be to report the incident to the Utah Aging and Adult Service Division. You can also call the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-371-7897.
You should do this even if you plan to sue the facility. An investigation could point out other flaws in care that could become part of your case. It will also protect the lives and dignity of the other residents.
Neglect is the most common form of nursing home abuse, so you should know the signs. Thanks to the pandemic and a general nursing shortage, many homes have far too few workers. These stressed workers may be prone to mistakes and shortcuts.
Residents in nursing homes depend on the help of workers to care for their needs. They need their help to dress, perform basic hygiene, eat, and much more. When a resident is neglected, they cannot help themselves and could end up in a dangerous situation.
Sometimes, neglect is active. A nursing home worker may deliberately neglect a resident for whatever reason. This is a stepping stone to more serious forms of abuse. If you suspect active neglect, contact the Utah Aging and Adult Service Division.
You can always call a nursing home abuse attorney in Salt Lake City for advice in a free consultation, but your loved one may not have a case until they’re actually injured. This is why speaking to regulators is a good first step to solving the issue.
Even if your situation doesn’t reach the level of a lawsuit yet, an attorney can tell you what to look for and how you can help your loved one before it gets that far. Sadly, many nursing home abuse cases only get filed after a resident’s death.
If there is a clear injury caused by abuse, you’ll wish to call an attorney immediately for advice. A personal injury lawyer familiar with elder abuse in long-term care facilities can help to establish nursing home negligence and how it led to your loved one’s injuries and damages.
You may need to act fast before the problem gets worse. If you see a medical emergency, you can call 911 for help even if your loved one is in a nursing home.
Your best defense against nursing home abuse and neglect is simple. Someone needs to visit your loved one regularly to check on their condition and look for signs of trouble. Some signs to look for include:
Financial abuse is another form of elder abuse on the rise, and our lawyers can help you with that as well. A member of the family needs to monitor the accounts for unusual activity, like sudden withdrawals, unpaid bills, transfers of assets, unexplained charges, or sudden changes in wills, powers of attorney, and other legal instruments.
Regular visits also help your family get to know the people on staff and build a rapport with them. You can report problems you’ve noticed with supervisors and see if they get resolved, especially if you notice new people. Catching things early can keep them from getting out of control.
If they don’t get fixed despite asking, you have a pattern of behavior that shows possible neglect or abuse. You can file a grievance with the facility or with Adult Protective Services, and then speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Salt Lake City for more information.
Remember, if you see a medical emergency in the home, you can call 911 to get them removed from the home for an evaluation and treatment. Don’t let any nursing home staff member tell you otherwise, unless your loved one has specifically requested for no hospitalizations in their living will.
Stopping nursing home abuse and neglect can be a matter of life and death. Use what you’ve learned here to start an investigation with the state, then contact one of our Salt Lake City nursing home abuse attorneys at 1Law for further advice. You can call us or use our free legal chat.