Nursing home residents have a right to complain. Nursing home staff have a duty to listen to those complaints and act when accusations are levied against their coworkers. No matter the case, when elders complain of nursing home abuse, everyone should pay attention.
Listen and Report
Not every complaint warrants immediate action. Complaints regarding the facility’s activities, food, or lodging are normal when a resident moves to a new facility.
Complaints about the facility’s cleanliness or safety warrant a report and investigation. Likewise, any accusation of abuse against a specific staff member warrants immediate action, including removing the elder from the facility. Many cases of nursing home abuse become ongoing issues because nobody listened to the elder’s complaints.
Similarly, elders should understand that their Residents’ Bill of Rights gives them the right to complain about these issues without fear of punishment or retribution. Elders should receive and understand the resources to report issues before they establish independence at the facility.
Responsibilities of Nursing Home Staff
When nursing home staff see abuse, they have a moral and legal obligation to take action. When nursing home staff see abuse in action, such as verbal or mistreatment, they should intervene. Violent abuse warrants a call for emergency services.
When staff members see signs of abuse, such as bruises or bloody laundry, they should file a report with the state board of nursing. This will launch an investigation against the facility.
Nursing home staff should consider their morals and ethics. While there may be some fear in filing a report, Virginia law forbids job discrimination against a whistleblower. The issues in nursing homes will never change if workers are afraid to speak out.
Positive change occurs when elders feel safe reporting abuse, and nursing home staff feel safe filing a report. The laws are already in place, yet both groups fear filing whistleblowing will make them a target. When both sides understand their options for reporting, they can launch an investigation and end the suffering.
If someone you love suffers from nursing home abuse, you might have a case. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney from the Obenshain law group, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (540) 318-7360.