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How do I go about reporting suspected nursing home abuse?

 

A:

 

When you suspect nursing home abuse, it can be difficult to know where to turn first. You may feel hesitant to bring it up to nursing home management, for fear they may already know about the situation and have yet to act. You may also be unsure about contacting the police or emergency services. One thing is for certain—you should report your suspicions right away.

The Choice Is Yours

Following are a few options for reporting suspected elder abuse:

  • The Florida Department of Children and Families provides Adult Protective Services and offers an Abuse Hotline that is available around the clock. To report suspected abuse, call 1-800-962-2873, and provide a detailed description of the victim and signs of abuse or neglect that you have seen.
  • The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is an advocacy program dedicated to protecting the safety, welfare, and rights of long-term care residents. Specially trained volunteers can be reached at 1-888-831-0404.
  • If you feel as though the abuse is severe, contact the police immediately at 911.

No matter which option you choose, your report should provide as many details as possible including the victim’s name, location, age, and a description of the abuse and any signs you have seen. In addition, be sure to provide information about the abuser—if you know who it is.

Elderly victims of nursing home abuse often suffer silently for long periods, either in fear of retribution or in shame. They may feel embarrassed about the abuse they are experiencing, or they may even feel as though the abuse is their own fault. Regardless, if you know of potential abuse, it is your duty to report it. You could save a life.

After you submit a report concerning nursing home abuse, you should seek legal help on behalf of the victim. Are you ready to take action? Start a live chat with us to learn what your next step should be.