Missouri has a special set of laws designed to protect our older and our disabled population from abuse and neglect. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is responsible for investigating the exploitation, abuse and neglect of Missouri residents 60 and above, as well as those with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 59. Whether the individual is in a nursing home, out in the community, or a resident of a long term care facility, Missouri Revised Statute 192.2400 specifically protects those who are unable to perform the functions necessary to meet their basic needs.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has established a hotline to report exploitation, abuse or neglect of the elderly by calling (800) 392-0210 from 7:00 a.m to 12:00 a.m, 365 days per year. The hearing impaired should call (TDD) (800) 735-2466 or (800) 735-2966 for the Relay Missouri. If you suspect someone is being neglected or taken advantage of, you are encouraged to report the abuse. Certain professionals are mandated to report abuse if suspected.
Commonly Reported Examples of Elder Neglect and Abuse
While the word ‘abuse’ draws our mind initially to the horrific thought of physical abuse, elder abuse takes many forms. The elder and disabled population often reports financial exploitation by those who are trusted with their care. This financial exploitation may range from a long-term care facility or nursing home using fraudulent billing practices to using force and intimidation to swindle money from those unable to stand up for themselves.
There are countless horror stories of neglect to our elderly and disabled. Nursing home and long-term care facilities are often trying to keep costs low to increase profits. This often results in improper hiring practices and a lack of adequate manpower to care for the needs of the residents. A lack of proper investigation into the backgrounds of employees of long-term care facilities is responsible for numerous incidences of physical and sexual abuse.
Rights of Long Term Care Facility Residents in Missouri
An adult who is deemed mentally competent has the right to refuse or accept any service being offered from a long-term care facility. In addition, residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Missouri are entitled to:
- Freedom from physical and mental abuse;
- Provided a way to have their grievances heard;
- Pick their own medical doctors;
- Participate in their plan of care and medical decisions;
- Be treated fairly with dignity and respect;
- Private medical treatments; and
- Be kept informed of their diagnoses.
Recovering for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or exploration by a long-term care facility, nursing home, or in home worker, action must taken immediately. Those most at risk need protection and a safe environment as soon as possible. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is often the best starting point in order to ensure the immediate safety of the abused and neglected.
After a safe environment is secured, an injury lawyer for nursing home abuse can help recover financial reimbursement for the harms and losses suffered. As a lawyer for nursing home neglect, in addition to recovering financial compensation for injury victims, we fight to ensure business practices are changed and future residents are protected from similar behavior.