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Navigating the Path to Justice: Advice for Nursing Home Abuse Survivors

 The nursing home should be a place where they take care of you and all your needs. You paid for a service - someone to give you immediate care because you cannot do that yourself anymore—and not for someone to abuse you and take advantage of your miserable position. You should not put up with anyone's actions, especially because you are older but rather you need to take action against these people.

Get a lawyer

One of the first things that you need to do before taking any legal action against anyone is to find a lawyer who knows what they are doing. You need someone who has experience dealing with these types of cases because that experience will move the proceedings faster and you will most likely get a better outcome. If you are not able to find yourself the right lawyer, or if you do not have one currently, you should ask someone that you know—a family member or friend—to help you with that. Tell them what kind of legal representation you are looking for. This person should be someone you trust and someone who already knows about your struggles in the nursing home. If that is not an option for you, either because you do not want to alarm anyone or simply because you do not have anyone to talk to, then you can search on the internet for lawyers fighting for nursing home abuse victims and see which one of them can help you. It would be best if you could talk to them, at least on the phone, and explain your current state but be careful that you are alone during that time. Abuse is a very serious thing and no one or nothing can make you forget all the trauma that you endured during your time there. At least, you will be stopping that person or those people from ever harming anyone again.

Report it!

At first, when you see that someone is abusing you in whatever way or form, you should immediately report these people to the administration. By doing this, you will have taken the first step that is necessary to stop these things. Hopefully, once they hear what you have to say, they will take immediate action. They could suspend the person, fire them, depending on how severe their actions were or at least get them away from you. If they do not do anything, that means that you need to already consider other options. Do not forget to document when you went to them, how many times, and what they said to you. See if you can get from them a copy of the complaint. 

Document as much as you can

Nowadays, we live in an age where there are so many ways you can document the abuse someone is giving. All you need is a phone and the ability to prove someone’s wrongdoing can become very easy. You should ask someone who visits you to bring you a mobile phone and teach you how to use it, how to record, and how to take photos. Every time you think that abuse will come your way from a person, you should press a record on your phone, which will put someone in your vicinity. If the abuse is visual, then you can take photos of it after they have left you. It is really important that no one catches you doing this because they could do you more harm if they find out.

Seek medical help

It is really important that if you sustain any damage from the abuse you are receiving, you seek medical assistance afterwards. This is crucial because, if left untreated, these damages can lead to more serious problems for your health and because you are older, this is even more important. Do not forget to take pictures of any scars or bruises that you sustained before they patch it up.

Talk with others

One of the worst things an abuse victim can do is be silent about the treatment they were given. You need to understand that these things can lead to serious problems and if you do not act appropriately, this could have serious effects on your mental and physical health. If you have family visiting you or some friends who can hear you out, you should talk with them about the things that are happening to you. It is important that you beforehand think carefully about how you are going to tell them and how they are going to react. Some people may resort to retaliation, which could lead to more harm for you and your family. Also, sometimes people think that they are being mistreated but they are wrong. Even though this most likely is not the case with you, you should talk with them honestly about it and if they think that it is nothing to worry about, you should consider that. If that is something that you do not agree with, then ask them to get you into another nursing home.

Know your rights

What you need to do is have a look at the policy of the hospital. See what is allowed and what is not. Any breaches that you find out about should be reported to the administration. Also, defend your rights; if someone does harm to you, threaten them with legal action. 

Seek change

If you have found some things that need to be changed in the facility, whether it is the approach to patients or anything else, you should advocate for alternatives. This way, you may be able to help yourself and the people who are there with you. You should also ask the other patients to help you push through these changes if they feel the same.

Seek emotional support

Seeking emotional assistance is crucial during this tough period after dealing with the issue of nursing home abuse. For assistance in processing your feelings and adjusting to life after abuse, consider joining a support group or seeing a therapist.

No one should endure abuse and you need to stop it in its tracks because it can lead to trauma and other problems. There are many things that you can do to help yourself in this situation but to mitigate damage, you need to act quickly and wisely.

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