1. What do I do if I suspect nursing home abuse?
You should immediately notify the head of the nursing home and document it in writing. Ask them to investigate and call you. Make more frequent visits unexpectedly. Keep a close eye on the abused person. Follow up on your request. If it is something that is causing serious medical problems, request a doctor be consulted immediately. Follow up with the doctor. Start a journal of your visits to the home, what you observe, what you are told, and the problems you are seeing.
2. What if I believe the abused person is in jeopardy or nothing is being done?
If you believe the matter is serious enough and you are not satisfied with the care being given or the follow up on any of your requests, you should immediately notify the North Carolina Division of Facilities. They have an investigation division that follows up on all complaints regarding nursing homes. The phone number is 919-733-8499. Follow up with this call and ask for a written report on their investigation. You can also make arrangements to have the abused person moved if need be.
3. How can I protect someone I know in a nursing home?
We cannot stress enough that people who visit daily or weekly are the front-line defense for the elderly. Make unexpected visits to the home. Walk around the home and observe the conditions existing. Make sure you know the names of the people who care for the person you are interested in. When you see something wrong, report it! Do not assume if you make a fuss they will “get mad and not care for the person”. The truth of the matter is they become more watchful and careful and provide better care.