Reporting Abuse & Neglect
Determining whether your loved one is being abused or neglected can be a difficult and complicated situation, especially if your loved one is incapable of comprehending or communicating what is happening. Visit your loved one, and take note of anything that seems unusual or different.
If you suspect that a nursing home resident has been abused, neglected or injured, bring your concerns to the attention of the nursing home’s administration or management. By law, the nursing home must respond to and investigate any complaints without retaliating against you or your loved one.
Consult with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney at the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm, who can explain your rights and options. The threat of a lawsuit or legal action is one of the most significant means that nursing home residents and their families have to fight against substandard and abusive conditions. In response, the nursing home industry has steadily sought legislation nationally and throughout the individual states that would limit one of the few protections that shielding our nation’s frail and vulnerable elderly nursing home residents: civil lawsuits that hold facilities accountable for the injuries they have inflicted.
A Congressional study found that nine out of ten U.S. nursing homes lack adequate staff, and that staffing is in fact so dangerously low in more than half of nursing homes that residents’ lives are jeopardized. NCCNHR’s executive director pointed out that:
“Despite these staggering statistics, the nursing home industry is supporting federal legislation that would put limits on one of the few protections shielding our nation’s frail elderly nursing home residents: civil lawsuits that hold facilities accountable for the injuries they have inflicted. In the states that have already enacted tort reform legislation, nursing home residents have been robbed of their basic legal protections and denied access to the courts when they need it most.”
Filing A Complaint
The State of Minnesota wants such concerns to be reported, warning that “prompt action is vital”: “Consumers of health care services have a responsibility to promote the highest quality of care. If you witness a suspected violation of health department regulations, patient and residents’ rights or the MN Vulnerable Adults Protection Act (physical or mental abuse, neglect, or unexplained injury) call the Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC).” The OHFC is a division of the Minnesota Department of Health. You can contact the OHFC during working hours at 651-201-4201 or toll free at 800-369-7994. You can also contact the OHFC by e-mail.
The OHFC also has a Complaint Form that you can download.