Most nursing homes offer reliable care in a comfortable, safe environment. Unfortunately, all it takes is one poorly trained, incompetent or malicious staff member to abuse a resident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 10 people aged 60 and older who live in nursing homes suffer some form of abuse. Many cases go unreported due to fear of retaliation.
If you or a loved one suffered nursing home abuse, it is critical that you take immediate action. Call the police if someone is in imminent danger. Then, contact Adult Protective Services at 1-800-898-4910 to report the incident.
If the abuse happened in Louisiana, turn to Morris Bart, LLC. A Shreveport personal-injury attorney will evaluate your case to determine if have grounds for a claim against the at-fault staff member or facility. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation.
Read on to learn more about Adult Protective Services:
About Adult Protective Services
Adult Protective Services in Louisiana exists as a branch of the Louisiana Department of Health. Adult and elderly protective services provide social services to elderly people in need.
Adult Protective Services is often the first responder to abuse or neglect cases in nursing homes. APS can remove victims from the unsafe environment, put a stop to the abuse and take action to prevent other residents from suffering the same mistreatment.
When Does APS Intervene?
Residents who are suffering abuse can contact Louisiana’s Adult Protective Services directly for assistance. In certain situations, APS may intervene at the request of law enforcement or the health department. Once Adult Protective Services gets involved, APS officials work closely with other government agencies to investigate and resolve the problem.
What Happens If I Report Abuse to APS?
Each state handles reports of elder abuse differently, but in most situations, a trained professional will receive the report and investigate its validity. If APS determines that the resident in question was a victim of abuse or neglect, an investigator will meet with the victim directly.
The investigator will evaluate the victim’s safety and health. At this stage, the APS investigator may contact law enforcement and other government agencies for assistance.
Once the investigator has completed the assessment, he or she will outline a plan of action that may involve legal, medical, economic and housing assistance.
What Are Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse and negligence are often difficult to detect. This is particularly true in cases that involve financial exploitation, social isolation and other non-physical abuse.
You should be concerned if you visit your loved one and notice:
- Unexplained bruises or cuts;
- Marks of restraint on the ankles or wrists;
- Poor hygiene;
- A staff member will not let you visit the resident alone;
- Or changes in behavior.
If you or a member of your family was abused or neglected at a nursing home, contact Morris Bart, LLC. A Shreveport personal-injury lawyer will help you claim compensation from the at-fault staff member or facility. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.