What to Do in Case of Elder Abuse
If you believe you or your senior family member is a victim of elder abuse, there are steps to take in order to file a complaint. In the state of Massachusetts, complaints are to be filed at the Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification which is the agency tasked to regulate and investigate any allegation regarding neglect, mistreatment, abuse, and misappropriation. They are also the ones who review any allegations regarding to inadequate quality care and ensure that resident or patients’ rights are upheld.
Unfortunately, they are only able to examine any complaints and issues that were submitted the past year. Any complaint should be filed through the Consumer/Resident/Patient Complaint Form, or if a written complaint is not possible, then there is the consumer complaint hotline that is open 24 hours to provide assistance. Emails are not accepted in order to safeguard the privacy of the resident/patient. Crowe & Mulvey, LLP says on its website that when a nursing home abuse complaint has been filed, facilities should have their own process in responding to the matter. Although it is not necessarily important to file a complaint with the nursing facility directly, it is still encouraged so that the facility would have the chance to review the claim and facts presented against them and determine whether they or any of their staff has violated the state and federal regulations.
There are many things that will happen after the complaint has been submitted, among them being the gathering of information to determine any form of non-compliance or abuse that might have occurred, then there is the legal process called Disposition, and many others.