Arkansas doesn’t have the best safety record for its nursing homes. While most are great, clean, welcoming places in which our aging loved ones can live happily for years to come, some have been singled out by state and federal agencies for repeated violations (including severe cases of nursing home abuse in Arkansas, some of which have resulted in fatal accidents). Many have faced fines, closures, and increased governmental oversight. The owners and staff of nursing homes are entrusted with the care of our loved ones, and that’s an honor and privilege that every nursing home owner and staff member should take seriously, with no exceptions.
Neglect in Arkansas Nursing Homes
One of the most prevalent abuses in Arkansas’ nursing home systems is neglect. Care workers in these homes and long-term care facilities are tasked with the duty of monitoring patients and residents. They must:
- Ensure proper nutrition
- Regulate medicine dosages
- Deliver therapeutic treatments
- Maintain a clean, healthy environment
- And—most importantly—act with the safety of these aging individuals in mind at every turn
But, as multiple state and federal investigations over the past few years have noted, when the staff is spread thin, when employers start cutting corners, when individuals aren’t given the proper training, it’s the residents of these Arkansas nursing homes that suffer the most.
Past violations have resulted in:
- Patients being given the wrong doses of medication (or given the wrong medicine altogether)
- Patients being left alone for far too long
- Patients not being provided with necessary safety equipment (such as fall prevention systems and fall alerts)
- Patients suffering from dehydration and malnutrition
- Bedsores from lack of turning and repositioning
- Physical or sexual abuse of residents
What You Can Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse in Arkansas
Speak up! You are the eyes and ears of your loved ones. Take notes and take action. If you suspect that a loved one may be suffering from abuse at the hands of a nursing home employee, there are multiple actions you can take to safeguard that individual, and others in the nursing home, and start the investigation process.
Indeed, Arkansas’ Department of Human Services has made it extremely easy to report suspected elder abuse at nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout the state. Simply go to the DHS website to see the many ways in which you can get in touch with an official. You can:
- Call DHS at 1-800-582-4487
- E-mail a message to complaints.OLTC@arkansas.gov
- Mail a letter explaining what you’ve suspected to :
Complaints Unit, Office of Long Term Care
P.O. Box 8059, Slot S407
Little Rock, AR 72203-8059
Have Evidence Ready
DHS suggests that you gather certain information before you contact them in order to minimize any delay that might arise. Such necessary info includes:
- The name of the resident (or residents) you suspect might be victims of abuse or neglect
- The name and address of the facility in which they are housed
- The name of the facility administrator (if you have it available)
- The names and contact info of any other witnesses who could have additional information about abuse cases
- A concise recounting of the facts surrounding the incident you’re reporting (dates, times, locations)
- Whether or not you’ve already contacted the facility administrator and what they did (or didn’t do) in response to your concerns
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Arkansas
While the State’s Department of Human Services is an excellent resource, it’s not the only one you have at your disposal. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney in Arkansas can help as well. Legal actions bring light to the situation and hold them accountable monetarily, which always gets their attention. Hiring an attorney to pursue legal action against the facility, its administrator, and even individual caretakers lets nursing homes and staff members know that any type of maltreatment of our loved ones will not be tolerated.
Indeed, speaking with an elder abuse attorney in Arkansas can give you access to a whole host of alternative resources you can use to help the ones you love.
- Our teams of investigators can collect evidence you wouldn’t otherwise have access to
- Our legal professionals can cut through the red tape surrounding DHS investigations
- Our lawyers can help victims and their families get compensation for the hardships they’ve endured
If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact the expert Arkansas nursing home abuse attorneys at the Pfeifer Law Firm today. Reach out online or call 501-374-4440 today. We are passionate about protecting the elderly. Let us help.