The Importance of Planning for Your Loved Ones During National Long-Term Care Planning Month & How to Get Help if You Suspect Elder Abuse

Do you have a loved one, such as elderly parents or grandparents, who you anticipate may need to enter a nursing home at some point in the future? Do you anticipate needing to enter a nursing home yourself?

If so, right now is the perfect time to research local nursing homes and put together a long-term care plan, as every October is National Long-Term Care Planning Month.

The Importance of Researching Nursing Homes in Advance

Many Virginia seniors enter a nursing home or assisted-living facility due to an urgent need. After a medical event, such as a stroke or a fall resulting in broken bones, the senior is no longer able to care for himself or herself without the assistance of professionals. With family members such as spouses or adult children wanting to get their loved one the help they need, they have to quickly tour nursing homes to have their loved ones transferred from a traditional hospital.

Unfortunately, choosing a nursing home under these urgent situations may inadvertently result in your family member living at a facility where they may be subject to nursing home abuse. As a nursing home and assisted-living facility attorney, I’ve seen the evidence of elder abuse firsthand, and it’s horrific and heartbreaking.

There are a variety of types of abuse that happen at nursing homes, including:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Financial Abuse
  • Self-Neglect

The best way to protect yourself or your loved one from a nursing home or assisted-living facility abuse is to research facilities in your area before entering one becomes an urgent need.

How to Research Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities in Virginia

In our state, nursing homes are regulated by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Office of Licensure and Certification Division of Long Term Care. At our law firm, we recommend everyone anticipating the need to enter a nursing home in the future, or who have a loved one who will need to, use the resources on this website to:

  • Find nursing homes in their area that accept Medicare and Medicaid and see how their levels of care compare to nearby facilities using the gov nursing home directory. This directory will provide:
    • An Overall Rating
    • A Health Inspections Rating
    • A Staffing Rating
    • A Quality Measures Rating

From this website, you can also see if the facility received any federal penalties within the last three years.

By knowing which facilities are in your area and how they compare to others, you’ll be able to best identify the home you want to enter – or want your loved one to live in – should the need arise.

What To Do if You Suspect Your Loved One is Being Abused

There are several steps you should take if your loved one is injured in a nursing home or assisted-living facilities, or you suspect that other abuse, such as emotional abuse, is happening. These steps include:

1. Documenting The Details of the Suspected Abuse

When you suspect your loved one is being abused in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, you need to:

  • Keep detailed records of all the information the facility and your loved one have told you.
  • Take date-stamped photos of any physical injuries your loved one has.
  • Arrange for your loved one to be examined by an outside physician not affiliated with the care home so that he or she can provide his or her medical opinion as to whether or not abuse is taking place.

2. Filing an Official Complaint

When you suspect care home abuse, you need to file official complaints with both the facility and the Virginia Department of Health.

3. Seeking Our Legal Advice

As experienced attorneys who have worked on many nursing home and assisted-living facility abuse cases, we can evaluate the evidence you have, give you our legal opinion, and do everything possible to protect your loved one from future abuse. If your case’s evidence supports that abuse is taking place, we can file suit against the facility to hold them accountable for their unlawful actions.

Contact Us for Our Care Home Facility Legal Advice Today

If you suspect your loved one is being abused in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, you need strong legal protection. As attorneys experienced in this area of law, we’re here to help protect your loved one and hold guilty parties accountable. Call us for a free case evaluation at (703) 813-6460 or fill out our online contact form.