All nursing home facilities in Maryland are licensed and regulated by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Code of Maryland Regulations outlines the duties and standards nursing homes must adhere to, and specifically restricts activities and behaviors that could harm residents. When caretakers fail to adhere to these rules, your loved one could in fact face needless risks.
If you suspect that a loved one has been abused or neglected in a Maryland nursing home facility, it is vital that you report the abuse to the proper authorities to ensure the protection of your loved one.
Make an Official Report
Nursing home quality varies widely from caregiver to caregiver. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and protected from avoidable pain and neglect that can lead to injury or death. If you suspect that an elderly loved one is being mistreated at the hands of a nursing home caregiver, do not ignore your instincts. Nursing home patients may not be able to communicate mistreatment or may be afraid to do so. If you suspect that elder abuse is happening, you should notify the proper officials. Here are some options to do so:
• Call 1-800-91-PREVENT (1-800-917-7383) to reach Maryland Adult Protective Services. Anybody making a report to this office is protected by state law, which ensures that any person who makes a report in good faith, or participates in an investigation or a judicial proceeding resulting from a report, is immune from any civil liability that would otherwise result.
• Call 1-800-AGE-DIAL (1-800-243-3425) to reach the Maryland Department of Aging. This office was established to protect the rights and quality of life of senior citizens in our state. The department works throughout Maryland and can easily offer assistance.
• At the same number, 1-800-AGE-DIAL, request the office of the Ombudsman for People in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities. This office advocates for residents of nursing homes or other adult care facilities, working to improve services and quality of life for residents.
• The Older Americans Act of 1965 established the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to protect the rights and promote the well-being of residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Every county in Maryland has a local ombudsman office. To reach one, call the Senior Information and Assistance Office in your county and they will connect you. Find the county office numbers at this link.
• Call 1-888-743-0023 to contact the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. This office is particularly helpful in cases of suspected exploitation of elderly citizens. It has formulated an Elder Abuse Initiative in an effort to lower the number of crimes committed against vulnerable adults. The attorney general’s office also offers a free publication on avoiding scams and fraud.
• Call 1-877-402-8201 for Maryland’s Office of Health Care Quality, a division of the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This office oversees the licensing of nursing homes and will conduct an investigation after receiving a complaint involving abuse or neglect.
Taking Civil Action
During this process, it’s best to call an attorney for help with nursing home abuse as soon as you have reported it to the state ombudsman or the HFR. Our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys will work to protect your family against tactics employed by certain facilities to silence victims while building a case that seeks fair compensation for the injustices your loved one has suffered.
Contact Potter Burnett Law to help guide you through this process. Our team of compassionate Maryland nursing home negligence attorneys has the skills and experience necessary to handle your nursing home abuse or neglect case. Call (301) 820-7820 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation at our Bowie, Maryland office.