When you suspect nursing home abuse, it can be hard to know where to turn. Nursing home abuse can require immediate care as well as long-term planning for your loved one. If you suspect nursing home abuse, you may not know how to report the abuse. Here’s what you should do if you suspect nursing home abuse.
Who Should I Report Nursing Home Abuse To?
If you suspect nursing home abuse, you should report the suspected abuse to Adult Protective Services, the Chief Inspector General, your loved one’s care administrator, and the police. You may also call 911 if you suspect that your loved one is in immediate danger. You should also discuss your concerns with an experienced Miami nursing home abuse attorney who can help you take steps to report the abuse and protect your loved one.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in Florida?
If you suspect nursing home abuse in Florida, it’s important to take immediate action and report the abuse. Often, the signs of nursing home abuse are subtle. It’s crucial to take steps to report the abuse even if you’re still in the process of determining what happened.
Reporting the abuse is the first step to protecting your loved one. There are multiple ways that you can report the abuse, and it’s important to report the abuse to all of the agencies that may be able to help. When you’re protecting your loved one, it’s critical to hold the responsible parties accountable for the abuse of your loved one.
Report the Abuse to Adult Protective Services
The State of Florida Department of Children and Families has a phone number for reporting vulnerable adult abuse. There’s an online form, phone number, and fax that you can use to report suspected abuse. Trained state officials answer the phone 24 hours a day.
According to the Department of Children and Families, adult abuse is a willful act by a caregiver that’s likely to cause physical, mental or emotional harm. Neglect of an adult is the failure to provide care, supervision or services that an adult needs. Exploitation is another form of adult abuse.
When you make a report to Adult Protective Services, you can expect them to ask for basic information to give social workers the information that they need to follow up on the report. You’ll need to provide the name and location of those involved in the suspected abuse and neglect. They’ll ask you to describe the harm that you suspect and who is causing the harm. Calling Adult Protective Services doesn’t have to be scary. Your report is confidential. Workers do not disclose the existence of a statement, and you don’t have to give your name.
Report the Abuse to the Police
Abuse of a vulnerable adult is a crime. Florida law 825.102 prohibits abuse of an elderly or vulnerable adult. According to Florida law, there are a number of different actions and inactions that constitute vulnerable adult abuse:
- Intentionally causing a physical or psychological injury on a vulnerable adult
- Doing an act on purpose that is likely to cause physical or psychological harm
- Encouraging anyone else to do something that’s likely to cause physical or psychological harm to a vulnerable adult
Vulnerable adult abuse is a crime. Florida classifies elder abuse as a third-degree felony. There may also be additional charges that apply like assault and battery, embezzlement, and homicide.
It’s the local law enforcement agency that evaluates the actions of a caregiver for possible elder abuse criminal charges. Even if you report the offense to Adult Protective Services, a report to local law enforcement is a critical report that opens the door to criminal charges against the offenders responsible for the adult abuse.
Report Elder Abuse to the Office of the Chief Inspector General
Florida’s Office of the Chief Inspector General investigates waste, fraud, and abuse in government. Although it isn’t the first place to report elder abuse, it’s still another place that you can sound alarm bells and report suspected abuse. The Office of the Chief Inspector General accepts reports and conducts independent investigations as a member of the state executive branch.
Your Care Provider’s Employer or Supervisor
In addition to reporting elder abuse to government authorities, you should report suspected elder abuse to the agency that cares for your loved one. The people who care for your loved one are in a position to take immediate action to protect your loved one.
Reporting suspected abuse to employers and more senior officials can be an effective way to get a quick response and immediate changes for the benefit of your loved one. It’s also important to follow up with your loved one and ensure that your loved one doesn’t face retaliation or further abuse because you make a report.
In cases of suspected immediate abuse, you should call 911. Law enforcement services exist to help people including vulnerable adults. If you suspect that the abuse of your loved one is an emergency, you shouldn’t hesitate to call 911 to protect your loved one.
Report Elder Abuse to a Miami Elder Abuse Attorney
If your loved one is the victim of elder abuse, an experienced Miami nursing home abuse attorney can help you respond appropriately to the suspected abuse. A trained attorney for elder abuse can assist you in reporting the abuse to the right officials and actions to protect the rights of your loved one.
When a person is the victim of elder abuse, they have rights. They have the right to report the abuse without retaliation. If your loved one faces elder abuse, they may have the right to financial compensation. An experienced attorney for elder abuse can help you take the necessary steps to protect your loved one and fight for compensation.
Our Miami Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Do you suspect elder abuse for your loved one? Don’t wait a minute longer to take action. At Bernstein & Maryanoff, our team has the experienced to help you respond to suspected elder abuse, protect your loved one, and help your loved one demand the compensation and other relief that they deserve. Call us today to talk about your case. Your call is free.
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.