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What to do if nursing home abuse is suspected

Elderly adults in North Carolina could become victims of abuse while living in nursing homes. There are many different forms of abuse that can occur in a nursing home setting. Nursing home abuse could be outright physical or sexual assault from staff or patients, or it could be serious neglect from the lack of appropriate medical attention.

If a family member suspects that an elderly nursing home patient is being abused, that individual should report his or her concerns immediately. Calling 911 or a local police phone number is only appropriate if an elderly person is in immediate danger. When there are indications that an elderly person was abused before or suffers from reoccurring abuse, a local Adult Protective Services office will handle the case.

A person who calls APS to report elder abuse should be prepared to provide the elderly person's name, location and contact information. The caller will also be asked to provide details about the suspected abuse and information about the elderly person's medical problems and family support. After receiving a report, APS may send a caseworker to do an investigation and conduct crisis intervention if it is needed. APS will also help to arrange medical, housing and law enforcement services for the elder abuse victim.

A nursing home patient who has suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect may be able to file a personal injury claim against the health care providers that injured him or her. An attorney may be able to help the family of an elder abuse victim build a strong personal injury complaint and pursue the maximum financial compensation possible under the law.

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Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP

Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP
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