For those in Providence who have elderly family members or friends living in nursing homes, the expectation is that the staffs of those facilities will do their utmost to assist their loved ones while respecting their privacy and dignity. Residents of these facilities are typically in a very vulnerable state, and thus easy targets for those who may be looking to exploit them.
If you happen to have a loved one in a similar situation, and you believe that he or she may have suffered nursing home abuse, you’ll no doubt want to respond to such concerns immediately. Yet are you aware of just who you should report your suspicions to?
The seemingly easy answer is to report it to the facility’s administrators. Yet while this might motivate action to be taken in your singular situation, consider this: there’s a very real possibility that other residents also suffered similar abuse. Administrators, however, may be more likely to want to view your case as a single situation and avoid the potential consequences that they may face should the abuse be more widespread. Unfortunately, this can lead to an attitude of complacency that could encourage even more problems.
The State of Rhode Island Department of Human Services lists its Division of Elderly Affairs as the agency responsible for handling any cases involving the potential elder abuse. Complaints can be made to them in strict confidentiality, without the fear of your loved one suffering any reprisals as a result of your coming forward with your suspicions.
While the above information is not meant to be taken as legal advice, it could help to save your loved one and others from continuing to suffer humiliating and degrading treatment from abusive caretakers.