It's a reality that nursing home abuse often goes unreported. The sad thing about that is that with proper reporting and intervention, a single instance of abuse doesn't have to turn into multiple cases. Simply reporting the negligence or abuse taking place could help save lives.
Many elderly people won't report when they're abused or neglected. Some are too proud to admit that they need help. Others don't want to cause trouble for those around them. Still others fear that they won't be taken seriously or will face repercussions for discussing abuse or neglect.
Who is required to report nursing home abuse?
The problem with reporting is that those who cause the abuse are often the people required to report it. For example, nurses and health care workers are required to report abuse, but they could be the people causing it. If you visit a nursing home and see elderly people who are struggling, don't assume that someone else will file a complaint. Your intervention might be what's necessary to prevent further injuries or harm from coming to the patients.
Where do you report elder abuse?
Elder abuse can be reported to the National Eldercare abuse page, through a primary care physician or by dialing 911. You can also contact your attorney before deciding on what steps you want to take if the situation isn't life-threatening at the moment. If it is, then it's better to err on the side of caution and to call 911 to get the police and emergency personnel involved in the care of those who need their help.