Nursing home resident abuse suspected? Who you gonna call?

Suspecting abuse and neglect of a loved one at the hands of staff at an Alabama long-term care facility is a challenging issue to have to address. Regular readers of this blog know we try to speak about this subject on a regular basis.

In one recent post, we highlighted the steps that the Alabama Nursing Home Association recommends when concerns arise. The group suggests starting by talking with the administrators at the facility -- going to the state Department of Public Health only if no discernible action is taken. 

That's not the limit of what may be possible, but getting a download of all the options can be difficult. That's where Alabama's Aging and Disability Resource Centers come into the picture. As the ADRC's website explains, the center and associated local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) facilities are there to connect those needing care, and those who care about them, to crucial information.

Specific to dealing with suspicions of nursing and specialty care malpractice is the Long Term Care Ombudsman program. If you as a resident or a caregiver have questions about resident rights, or complaints about safety and care, you can call your local AAA and speak privately and confidentially with the ombudsman.

This person can investigate potential problems, work to get them corrected and conduct extended monitoring of facility conditions. He or she can also act as a mediator between residents, their families and the facility to resolve complaints.

This is good information to have. It can be crucial to preventing mistreatment. Unfortunately, it often isn't in hand until after a loved one has fallen victim to abuse or neglect. In such cases, seeking broader legal remedies, including compensation, may be called for. That's why it's always important to speak with a compassionate, experienced attorney to understand the full scope of your rights.

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