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What should I do if suspect abuse at my parent's nursing home?

There is probably no way for a person to prepare for the day when his or her parents can no longer take care of themselves. After all, it is our parents who were always our caretakers; the ones who acted as our providers and protectors. The reversal of roles can be difficult to reconcile for both children and parents.

Frequently, it is in the best interests of all involved that an aging parent be placed in the care of a nursing home. Ideally, nursing homes can provide around the clock medical care and help tend to a resident's physical needs. And most nursing homes do their level best to offer a safe and comfortable environment for their residents.

Sadly, there have also been incidents of abuse or neglect that have occurred in nursing homes. This is especially troubling in situations where the victims are unable to tell anyone about the kind of treatment they are receiving.

There are a number of signs that could indicate nursing home abuse or neglect. Many of these signs, such as bedsores and malnutrition, are physical in nature and easy to spot. Other signs may not be readily apparent. For instance, a resident may be given drugs as a form of restraint.

According to the AARP, you should file a report about an elder care facility if you believe your loved one is being abused or neglected. Such reports can be made to the state department of aging, an elder abuse hotline or the police.

However, if you suspect neglect or abuse after your parent suffers a serious or fatal injury, you may wish to contact a medical malpractice attorney. A knowledgeable attorney could investigate the incident to discover the cause of your loved one's suffering. Given the circumstances, the attorney may also be able to help you get appropriate compensation for the facility's negligence.

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