The decision to move your elderly parent or vulnerable loved one into an assisted care facility is never an easy one. You and your family must put a tremendous amount of trust into the hands of nursing home staff and administrators. Sadly, in far too many cases, these facilities do not live up to their obligation to provide safe, high-quality care.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) estimates that as many as ten percent of older Americans have endured some form of elder abuse. This raises an important question: How do you report suspected nursing home abuse or neglect in Virginia? Here, our Virginia Beach nursing home negligence attorney provides a basic guide of the steps you can take.
Reporting Nursing Home Neglect in Virginia: Know Your Options
You should be able to rely on nursing home professionals to protect the health and safety of your vulnerable loved one. As explained by the Virginia Board of Long-Term Care Administrators, Commonwealth law requires all licensed practitioners to report the suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of elderly or incapacitated adults. Unfortunately, it almost always falls on the family to take action. If you believe that your vulnerable loved one is being mistreated in an assisting living facility, you need to report the problem. Here are your options to get the process started:
- Call 911 in an Emergency: First and foremost, you should always call 911 in an emergency situation. Absolutely nothing should come before your family member’s safety. Nursing home abuse/neglect is dangerous—it can put a vulnerable person at risk of serious injury, illness, or even worse.
- Tell an Independent Doctor: If you are not sure if abuse or neglect has occurred, but you have questions about the care your loved one is receiving, it is best to consult with an independent medical professional. They should be evaluated by a doctor who is not associated with the facility.
- Use Virginia’s 24/7/365 Elder Abuse Hotline: Virginia has a dedicated nursing home abuse hotline. You can call 1‐888‐832‐3858 24/7/365 to report suspected elder exploitation. They will take your report and help you understand the next steps in the process.
- File a Complaint Online: Finally, you can also report nursing home abuse or neglect directly online. The Virginia Department of Health has a four page complaint form that you can submit via the internet, fax, or mail. Upon recipient, authorities may launch an investigation into the actions or inactions of the facility or its staff members.
Reporting nursing home abuse is just the first step in the broader legal claims process. While the Commonwealth of Virginia has valuable resources available for families, they will not be able to help you get financial compensation through a civil lawsuit.
To hold the negligent nursing home accountable, you need a top-rated Virginia nursing home negligence attorney. Your lawyer will review your case, investigate the suspected abuse, and take action to get justice and the financial support that you and your family need.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Virginia Beach Nursing Home Neglect Attorney
At The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C., our Virginia nursing home negligence attorney is a reliable and experienced advocate for clients and their families. If your loved one was abused or neglected in an assisted living facility, we are here as a resource. For a free, no-risk consultation, please contact us today. With an office in Virginia Beach, we serve communities throughout the entire Hampton Roads region, including Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Williamsburg.