How to Report Nursing Home Neglect and Elder Abuse in Virginia
If You See Something, Say Something. By Reporting Nursing Home Neglect in Virginia, You Prevent it From Happening Again.
If you or a family member is thinking about transitioning into assisted living in Virginia, you might assume that it’s a solid choice for receiving comprehensive care and attention. However, as unfortunate as it may be, the fact of the matter is that nursing homes and elder care facilities often fall short of proper treatment, intentionally or not. Nurses and staff at nursing homes tend to be overworked and understaffed, and patients are the ones who pay the price.
If you believe that your family member was abused or neglected at a nursing home in Virginia, it can be difficult to figure out what to do next. Even if you have already spoken with the staff and nurses at the facility, things may not change. Thankfully, Virginia offers multiple options for reporting and correcting nursing home neglect and elder abuse.
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Reporting Elder Abuse in Virginia
Each state in the United States is required to administer an Ombudsman Program. This program works on behalf of patients in nursing homes and elder care centers to advocate for high-quality care and attention. The Administration on Aging heads this program, and it is one of the most effective places to start your journey toward reporting nursing home abuse. You can reach out to the Virginia Ombudsman Program at 1-800-552-3402. You can also call 757-222-4542 or 1-800-766-8059 to reach hotlines for long-term care patients that have received substandard care in Virginia.
In addition to your options with the Ombudsman Program, Virginia offers both a Citizen Advocacy Group and a department at the Office of Aging dedicated to handling reports of elder abuse in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. You can reach out to the Citizen Advocacy Group at 757-518-8500, and the Office of Aging can be reached at 804-662-9333. All of these resources are available free of charge. If you are unable or unwilling to make a report by phone, you can also access Virginia’s online report form.
If you believe that you may have a case of nursing home neglect or abuse, the Virginia nursing home abuse attorney at Senior Justice Law Firm would be happy to represent you and seek the justice you deserve. Civil cases against nursing homes for neglect can financially deter a facility from providing bad patient care. Reach out for a free consultation at 757-530-4255 so that we can discuss your legal options.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in Virginia Beach?
Among the top 50 most populous cities in the United States stands Virginia Beach, a bustling metropolis that covers a wide swath of the state. Virginia Beach is the largest city in the state with a population bordering on 1.7 million, and its metro area encompasses the area surrounding the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, including Chesapeake itself as well as Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. This area, known as “America’s First Region,” is naturally a popular retirement location for those entering their older years due to the beautiful scenery and mild temperatures.
Due to this, the general Hampton Roads area has seen a steady and notable increase in the elderly population over recent years, which is placing an increasing burden on local nursing homes and elder care facilities. The Virginia Beach area has seen growth in residents aged 65 and older from 11% to 13.8% in just a few years, and this number is not expected to slow anytime soon. In fact, with all Baby Boomers reaching the age of 65 in the next ten years, the Virginia Beach area will likely continue to see growth in this sector of residents—and the healthcare that comes with them.
There are almost 300 nursing homes in Virginia, and that means that nurses and staff must manage a very large number of people who all need individual attention. In the Virginia Beach area in particular, 59 nursing homes are caring for the local elderly population; unfortunately, they are by and large doing it poorly.
Only seven of the 59 nursing homes serving the greater Virginia Beach area—including Hampton and Williamsburg—received positive ratings during their reviews. Those with the highest marks were small homes with between 20 and 50 beds, often run by nonprofit entities. The for-profit conglomerates fared much worse in reviews, with the most common citations coming from failing to:
- protect each resident from physical, mental and sexual abuse, physical punishment, and neglect
- provide sufficient nutrition and hydration
- provide safe and appropriate dialysis, respiratory care, and pain management
- safeguard against significant medication errors
- prevent skin wounds such as bedsores
- provide and implement an infection prevention and control program
The average number of citations per facility in the Virginia Beach area was 10.5, with only two facilities receiving no negative marks at all. If your loved one lives in a nursing home or elder care facility in Virginia Beach, you may suspect that he or she is the victim of abuse or neglect. In addition to the statewide options for reporting elder abuse and nursing home neglect, you can reach out to a local representative of the Bay Aging organization in Virginia Beach located at 5 Interstate Corporate Center, 6350 Center Drive, Suite 101, Norfolk, VA 23502-4121. If you would like to call to make your report, the Ombudsman can be reached at 757-222-4542, or you may send a fax to 757-461-1068 or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let our Virginia Beach Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys assist you in exposing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in Richmond?
Virginia Beach is not alone in its large number of citations at nursing homes and other elder care facilities. In Richmond, elder care facilities often receive lower marks than they should in critical care areas like hydration, staffing, and patient care. Of the 41 facilities in the metro area—which encompasses approximately 1.2 million people across 13 counties and includes cities such as Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights—only two received passable grades. Upwards of 11% of the population of this dense urban area are over 65 years of age, and under-staffing with the inability to care for so many patients among only 41 facilities is the leading cause of abuse and neglect in the area.
Nearly all nursing homes in the Richmond area are for-profit entities, and historically, these have received both higher fines and a greater number of citations regarding care in general. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect in one of these homes and you need to report elder abuse in Richmond, you can reach out to the local care organization Senior Connections – The Capital Area Agency on Aging, Inc. They can be reached at 804-343-3000 or toll free at 1-800-989-2286, and their fax number is 804-649-2258. They also maintain a website for the local area, which can be found at http://www.seniorconnections-va.org/.
In addition to Senior Connections, Bay Aging serves Richmond alongside Virginia Beach, so you can reach out to Ombudsman Lisa Walker at email@example.com. The mail center for Richmond’s branch of the Ombudsman program is located at P.O. Box 610 in Urbanna, Virginia 23175-06410; even though the program is not headquartered in Richmond, it serves Westmoreland, Northumberland, Richmond, Lancaster, Essex, Middlesex, Mathews, King & Queen, King William, and Gloucester. You can contact the office by phone at 804-758-2386 using extension 1234 or fax your report to 804-758-5773.
Let our Richmond Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys assist you in exposing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect.
How Do I Report Elder Abuse in Norfolk?
Norfolk is part of the larger Hampton Roads metropolitan area and shares its 1.7 million residents (of whom approximately 9% are seniors in the area), but that does not mean that it performs the same as its neighboring cities when it comes to care for the elderly. The 59 nursing homes in the city have seen the state’s highest penalties when it comes to nursing home abuse and elder neglect; in fact, Medicare and Medicaid payments have been suspended to many of the nursing homes in the area due to their extraordinarily low scores during investigation.
Sentara Nursing Center Norfolk, the nursing home with the highest number of citations in the entire state, was fined for 32 separate violations in one investigation; however, this is not the only location where abuse and neglect are occurring. A dozen other homes were cited for their failure to prevent significant medication errors when distributing or dosing out medicines for their residents. Another dozen citations were given out by inspection bodies for failing to attend to patients often enough, which resulted in bed sores and other ulcerative conditions that put them at risk for infection and severe pain. More than ten facilities were punished for their failure to even notify family members and doctors that a patient’s state of health was declining or that a patient was injured while at the nursing home or facility.
Residents in Norfolk and the surrounding areas should be especially vigilant in watching out for their loved ones to ensure they are receiving the treatment and care that they need—and that they deserve. If you suspect that your family member is suffering from abuse and neglect, you have both statewide options and more local organizations who can assist you in compiling a report and ensuring that your loved one is cared for properly.
In addition to using the statewide reporting options for nursing home abuse, residents of Norfolk and other cities like Chesapeake can reach out to the Bay Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman Regional Office, a local center that can handle the report. They can be reached by phone at 757-222-4542 or fax at 757-461-1068, and they also have an online presence at http://www.bayaging.org/. You can also send mail directly to the local Ombudsman office in Norfolk at 5 Interstate Corporate Center, 6350 Center Drive, Suite 101, Norfolk, VA 23502-4121.
If you would like more information about the local branch of elder abuse organizations in your area, you can use the state’s online tool to search by city name at https://elderrightsva.org/locations.htm#11.
Let our Norfolk Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys assist you in exposing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect.
Monitoring Care to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse in Virginia
In Virginia, any facility that cares for the elderly, including any nursing homes or long-term care facilities, must agree to undergo oversight by the Virginia Department of Health. This includes inspections that occur at least once per year without warning, and the state has more than 150 requirements that facilities must meet at all times. Failure to comply with these policies will result in large fines, sometimes in excess of $100,000 for facilities that are repeat offenders. A nursing home that has been found to provide inadequate care may be shut down.
Reporting Abuse in Long-Term Care in Virginia
If you suspect that your family member or loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect at a nursing home or elder care facility, bringing a lawsuit against the facility may be the last thing on your mind; after all, monetary damages cannot undo the stress and suffering your loved one experienced. However, most long-term care locations are for-profit entities, and bringing a case of monetary damages against them is one of the most effective ways of getting them to change their practices. This will improve outcomes for all patients in the facility going forward, and it is one of the most compelling reasons to speak to a lawyer about the abuse or neglect.
Reach Out to Senior Justice Law Firm for Elder Abuse and Neglect Lawyers in Virginia
Senior Justice Law firm is narrowly focused on nursing home neglect and elder abuse cases. It is all that we do, and so we do it well. Get in touch at 757-530-4255 for a free consultation so that we can review your specific circumstances and create a plan for what to do next. We can also assist you in reporting nursing home abuse or neglect in Virginia at no charge.
Call or chat with us to discuss your options so that we can devise a strategy that will work best for you.