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a female victim of nursing home abuse | Boller and Vaughan

What To Do if You Suspect Nursing Home/Memory Care Abuse

If you have entrusted the care of your loved one to an assisted living facility, it is crucial to know what to do if you suspect nursing home abuse. Neglect and abuse at nursing homes are alarmingly common. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), roughly one in six nursing home residents over the age of 60 experiences some form of abuse annually; and, shockingly, two-thirds of nursing home staff members self-report having committed some form of abuse within the past year.

Madison nursing home abuse attorneys Matthew Boller and Michelle Vaughan founded Boller & Vaughan in 2004 to protect seniors against elder abuse and neglect. Our firm is passionate about helping elder citizens in Wisconsin receive the safe care they need and the justice they deserve. 

If you suspect neglect or abuse, contact our team of compassionate nursing home abuse lawyers for a free case review. We’ll listen to your story, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us anything unless we achieve a favorable outcome on your behalf.

6 Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse in Wisconsin

If you have concerns about nursing home abuse in Wisconsin, consider the following steps:

1. Call 911 if Necessary 

If you or your loved one needs immediate medical attention or if you have pressing safety concerns for any reason, do not hesitate to call 911. When you call, tell the dispatcher what happened and who was involved. Provide the name and address of the nursing home. Depending on the situation, the dispatcher may send the police, paramedics, or both.

2. File a Complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

If your loved one has suffered at the hands of a caregiver at a Wisconsin nursing home, you can report the abuse to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. You can call the Department of Health Services’ Division of Quality Assurance at (800) 642-6552 or complete an intake survey online. When reporting nursing home abuse, it is important to be as thorough and accurate as possible. Provide as much information as you can, and avoid making any assumptions about what may or may not have happened. 

3. Talk to a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney at Boller & Vaughan 

You will want to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. This is the single most important step you can take if you have concerns about nursing home abuse. If you have questions or concerns about taking any of the steps we listed above, you can talk to an attorney first. Contact our law office today and you can get a FREE and confidential consultation, and your attorney can explain everything you need to know. 

To prepare for this free consultation, take notes to record as many details as you can remember. For example, if you have it, you will want to share the following information with your attorney:

  • When did the abuse begin? 
  • How frequent is the abuse (or was it a one-time occurrence)?
  • Who at the nursing home was involved or has knowledge of the abuse? 
  • What communications have you (or your loved one) had with the nursing home? 
  • If you are seeking help on behalf of a family member, what led you to suspect the abuse? 

4. Collect Your Loved One’s Important Records and Belongings 

Instances of nursing home abuse rarely resolve themselves. In fact, statistics show that abuse targeting nursing home residents is more likely to get worse than better. With this in mind, in addition to reporting the abuse and seeking help, nursing home residents and their loved ones should also collect their important records and belongings. Make sure your (or your loved one’s) nursing home contract, financial records, checks and credit cards, estate planning documents, and medications are all in a safe place—as financial abuse and theft are also common in cases of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.

5. Take Photos or Videos to Document the Abuse 

In addition to taking notes, you should also take photos or videos to document the abuse, if possible. This includes taking photos or videos of any physical injuries, the location where the abuse occurred, and any other relevant items (i.e., prescription bottles with missing pills). 

6. Don’t Let the Nursing Home Tell You What To Do

When an aging loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you need to avoid letting the nursing home tell you what to do. If the nursing home’s administrators suspect that you may be filing allegations of abuse, they will work to protect their own best interests, not the best interests of your family member. At this point, you should rely on your attorney to communicate with the nursing home on your behalf.

Contact a Madison Nursing Home Abuse Attorney for FREE

The nursing home abuse lawyers at Boller & Vaughan have a proven record of successfully recovering compensation for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. If your loved one has suffered at the hands of a nursing home staff member or another resident, contact our office right away.

Our results speak for themselves.

Contact us today online or at (608) 268-0268 for a FREE case review. Boller & Vaughan proudly serves clients in Madison and throughout Wisconsin.