A Closer Look At Laws To Protect Against Indiana Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Posted By Crossen Kooi || 1-Sep-2011
For many Indiana families, placing a loved one in a nursing home is an extremely difficult and emotional decision. Fears of Nursing Home Abuse only compound this decision. And unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a growing problem. The Indianapolis Nursing Home Injury Lawyers at Crossen Kooi noted a recent study which found about half of all nursing home residents will have injuries or illnesses go unreported, untreated, or undiagnosed during their stay at a nursing home.
Further studies of Nursing Home Abuse found about 30% of long-term care staff saw physical abuse of a patient in the previous year. And, when the definition of abuse is broadened to include verbal abuse, 81% report having seen abuse. Equally as troubling, 40% say they committed abuse at least one time in the last year. Thus, nursing home abuse and neglect is a huge problem in both Indiana and throughout the country.
So what laws and regulations exist to protect residents from Nursing Home Injuries and at the very least, give them and/or their families recourse in the event abuse does occur? The Indiana Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys are extremely knowledgeable about the federal and state laws governing nursing homes. The main federal law is known as the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act. It was enacted in 1987. This Act established a national minimum standard of care and rights for patients in certified nursing facilities. Nursing homes wanting Medicare or Medicaid funding were then required to provide services so that each resident could “attain and maintain her highest practicable physical, mental, and psycho-social well-being.”
As for individual states like Indiana, they were still allowed to enact even stricter nursing home guidelines. And Indiana does have specific steps nursing home residents and/or their families should take if they suspect abuse. First, if you suspect abuse, you should gather evidence and information to write a report on the abuse. The information should include the facility’s contact information, people involved in the alleged abuse and the date and time of the suspected incident.
Then, as quickly as possibly, you should contact the Indiana State Department of Health’s Division of Long Term Care. It is important to note that once the complaint is filed, the name of the person reporting the complaint is kept confidential. About a week after the report is filed, you will receive confirmation by mail from the Long Term Care Complaint Department verifying that they received it and letting you know that an investigation was started. You will be notified again when the investigation is done, and you will be told the results.
Of course, experienced Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers can guide you through this process and help gather the necessary information and evidence. If you or someone you love is suffering from nursing home injuries, contact the Indianapolis Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Crossen Kooi for a FREE consultation.