Nursing homes often abuse their residents, either intentionally or through negligence. In 2008, there were 5,215 reported cases of nursing home abuse in Alabama. Since then, we’ve learned that 44% of all nursing home residents, on average, have experienced some form of abuse or neglect.
The takeaway: abuse happens a lot, more than we even know. Many cases never go reported, and of those that do, there are often serious problems with getting paperwork and records from the nursing home.
And nursing homes are determined to keep it that way.
One of the ways nursing homes can prevent you from getting compensation and justice for your loved one is by intentionally failing to keep proper records of treatment.
There’s a reason for this: bad homes don’t want a paper trail for how they and their staff have neglected or abused a resident. If there’s no proof, then a nursing home can’t be punished, or so their logic goes.
So, they keep spotty records that have huge gaps and lots of missing information. Often, in these cases, we’ve found that the home in question did a poor job at documenting everything – even complaints from the residents themselves.
When that’s the case, proving negligence can be difficult – which is exactly why nursing homes do it.
Taking Action Against Negligent Nursing Homes
If we can’t get proper documentation from the nursing home, it’s even more important that we get proper evidence outside of the home.
Medical records from a trusted and reputable medical provider can go a long way in proving that some form of abuse or negligence occurred. There have been situations in which the resident became malnourished over a period of time while they were living in a facility, and a physician was able to testify to the extent of their malnutrition.
Physicians aren’t the only ones who can provide testimony and evidence; mental health professionals can, too. And you can provide compelling evidence because you know your loved one better than anyone and can testify as to their state of mind and their personality before and after they lived in the abusive home.
If you start noticing bruises, lacerations, or sores on your loved one’s body, document it. Take pictures. Get them checked out by a doctor and have it placed on record. This is one of the ways you can record what’s happening even if your nursing home doesn’t.
With enough evidence, your nursing home abuse lawyer can take the facility to court and get justice for your loved one – and, by doing so, help ensure that other families in the future don’t go through the same outrageous tragedy.