Reporting elder abuse

Missouri residents who have made the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home have many options if they suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation. The severity of the situation and the local resources that are available dictate the plan of action to combat such treatment.

In the event that nursing home neglect or abuse is taking place, family members should report to their local Adult Protection Services agency. The APS is the main organization that investigates elder abuse, and it can also set up medical, housing, and other supportive services for the senior. Local authorities may also need to be contacted for immediate help. Another option would be to contact the state long-term care ombudsman programs, which also handles nursing home complaints.

When contacting an organization, a family member may have to provide information regarding the elder’s medical problems, incidents of abusive behavior like yelling and the support system the senior has. An individual may also need to give his or her basic contact information although this is not necessary since most states would still take a report. If the APS agency has reason to believe that a nursing home has violated elder abuse laws, a caseworker would be assigned to handle the investigation. The APS could also work with other community agencies to provide the services the senior needs if there is not enough evidence of elder abuse.

Individuals who are concerned about a loved one’s situation may decide to contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance. An attorney could help collect evidence of elder abuse or negligence as well as prepare a claim on behalf of the senior.