Resources for the Suspected Abuse of Seniors in Nursing Homes
The Minnesota StarTribune published a series of articles about the neglect and abuse of seniors in nursing homes across the state, and the system’s failure to protect these vulnerable individuals. Long-term care facilities, police departments, county attorneys, and the Department of Human Services have all collectively failed to bring justice to those who have harmed these individuals on an alarming scale. Abuse takes many forms and can be verbal, physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, financial, or the intentional or unintentional neglect of a person who is not able to care for him or herself. If you have suffered from abuse, or if you suspect that a loved one has been mistreated, the following resources are available to offer help and guidance:
The Minnesota Elder Justice Center offers support groups, information about how to talk to a loved one who may be suffering from abuse, understanding how the system operates, and understanding whether legal help may be needed among other topics. Their website provides educational materials and additional resources for various types of situations. You can learn more by visiting Elderjusticemn.org or by calling 651-440-9300.
The Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care handles complaints and problems relating to quality/care services, quality of life issues, rights violations, access to services issues, service terminations, discharge or eviction for residents of nursing homes, adult care homes, and persons receiving home care services among others. To contact your local Ombudsman call 1-800-657-3591 or 651-431-2555.
The Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center is the centralized state-wide hub for reporting suspected abuse or maltreatment of a vulnerable adult. Making a report will not result in an immediate response so if the adult is in immediate danger, 911 should be called. Reports can be made by calling 1-844-880-1574. In addition to the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center, individuals can also report suspected abuse or maltreatment directly to local law enforcement agencies or county attorney’s offices to pursue criminal action against the offender.
It may also be appropriate for persons who have suffered injuries as a result of abuse, whether physical, emotional, or mental, to pursue monetary damages against abusers and facilities through a personal injury claim. Our firm does not represent clients in personal injury matters, but we do assist clients in protecting any awards or settlements they receive so that they can remain eligible for public benefit programs like Medicaid.