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What do you do if a family member or friend is mistreated in a nursing home? Well, nursing homes take the duty to take care of infirm people, and they have rules and safety rules that they have to abide by in doing so. So, if your parents or a loved one is mistreated in a nursing home, that shouldn’t be happening.

What you want to do is you want to make sure you are a partner in the care of them. You go to the nursing home. You talk to the caregivers. You visit with them. You look at the medical records. You make sure that they’re at that care. If you notice sores are starting forming, dehydration, lack of eating, unkempt, dirty, you communicate that to them, and you get them to change that. You say, “We need to do something.” You discuss and you visit with the caregivers about the lack of eating or the dehydration or make sure that if their sores are starting to be detected that they’re rolled, that cushions are applied in wheelchairs, that the body position on the bed is changed every two hours, and those types of things.

You ask about the protocols. What are the standards? What nursing home, what standards do you have about these things? If that communication doesn’t work, talk to your primary care doctor or your loved one’s, your parent’s primary care doctor. Talk to the hospitals. Talk to the director of the nursing home. Take it up. Be insistent. Document these things. Send emails. Don’t just orally say that because then they’ll say, “Hey, you never told me about it,” and six months later they’ll say, “You never told me about any of this,” and then you say, “Well look, I have these emails to you. I have these notes that I sent you, so that’s not true.”

The other thing is, if that doesn’t happen, both Illinois and Missouri have robust adult abuse protection services. You can call the Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline in Missouri at 1-800-392-0210. You can go to www.health.mo.gov\safety and you can report electronically, and there are report forms, and you can contact them as well. In Illinois, go to www.illinois.gov\aging. There’s also a section called the Protection Advocacy Section of the state of Illinois, or you can call the Adult Protective Services Hotline in Illinois at 866-800-1409.

If none of those are helping and you still have questions about your loved one or parent being mistreated in nursing home, call me, Gary Burger at 618-272-2222, and at Missouri, 314-542-2222. Our 800 number is 866-599-2222. Visit us at www.burgerlaw.com. We’re happy to help you and support you in that as well. Thank you.

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