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WI IL IA

Five Steps to Take If You Witness Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Be prepared to take action if you witness nursing home abuse or neglectWhat you saw shocked you, and left you uncertain about how to proceed. While you were in a nursing home visiting a resident, volunteering, or doing your job, you witnessed the neglect or abuse of a nursing home resident. You don’t know the person who was abused or neglected, but you know that you want to take action to protect that person and everyone else residing in the nursing home.

Here Are Five Important Things You Can Do

Immediately after the incident, you can:

  • Document what happened with as many details as possible. Write down exactly what you witnessed, the room number or other location of the abuse or neglect, and the date and exact time of the incident.
  • Write down the names of all staff in the area and administrators on duty. They may become important witnesses later even if they were not directly involved in the incident.
  • Contact a loved one of the resident—if you know how to reach him. If you have contact information for the resident’s relative or friend, then you should reach out to that person and let him know what you saw.
  • Talk to the resident, if possible. You do not need to say that you think you witnessed abuse or neglect, but you can ask if the resident needs anything. You may also be able to determine if the resident has any critical needs that require immediate attention.
  • Inform the state. It is important to report any alleged abuse or neglect so that a full investigation can be done. You will not be liable if you make your report in good faith, even if you are wrong.

You may be uncomfortable making a report of alleged abuse or neglect, but it is important to share what you’ve witnessed so that further abuse or neglect can be prevented.

You Can Take Additional Action If Your Loved One Was Hurt

Sometimes the neglect or abuse that you witness may be to the resident whom you were visiting. If your loved one has been hurt by nursing home abuse or neglect, then it is important to take further action to protect her safety. Please start a live chat with us now to find out more.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham