Like many people in Illinois and throughout the country, you probably enjoy getting together with friends and family members for special occasions, such as a birthday or other holiday. Especially if you haven’t seen your siblings or other close relatives in a long time, a family gathering is a perfect way to bring each other up to date on what’s been happening since the last time you met.
Certain raised topics might be more serious than small talk. For instance, if someone has been battling cancer or is recovering from a car accident, you might want to talk about it with your loved ones. Such discussions sometimes reveal unsettling news. An example would be a discussion where you and other family members talk about your elderly parent who recently moved into a nursing home, and by the end of the conversation, perhaps you have a strong suspicion that he or she might be suffering from nursing home abuse.
When bits of information fit together like pieces of a puzzle
If you visit your loved one in a nursing home, you might notice something that you find out of the ordinary. For example, maybe the last time you visited, your mother or father had several bed sores. As you share this information with your sibling at a family gathering, he or she might have additional concerns. Perhaps your sibling noticed bruises on your parent’s arm that weren’t there when you visited a few weeks earlier.
When several family members each have concerns that raise questions about quality of care, it is always best to schedule a meeting with nursing home administrators right away. You can compile a list of questions and concerns ahead of time. If you are not satisfied with the explanations or answers staff members provide, you can further investigate the situation.
Closely monitor your loved one’s condition and disposition
As a family, you can agree to notify each other any time someone visits your loved one in a nursing home and notices a potentially concerning issue. Maybe your brother or sister was there and witnessed your parent acting afraid around a particular staff member. Or, perhaps, your parent kept complaining of thirst or hunger the last time you went to see him or her.
One issue might not raise many eyebrows. However, when numerous people in the same family suspect that something isn’t right, it is always wise to trust your instincts. There are local support resources that you can tap into for assistance in investigating suspected nursing home abuse, such as nursing home patient advocacy programs, law enforcement and legal representatives.