Nursing Home Abuse in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Nursing Home Laws and Regulations

While it would be easier to assume elderly individuals in nursing homes are safe and comfortable, that is not always the case. In fact, in one year, somewhere around 3,500 suspected cases of abuse and neglect are reported in the state of Wisconsin alone. In one year, more than 10 of the reported cases lead to a wrongful death and hundreds ranked as severe enough to be life-threatening. While these statistics also include self-neglect, many of them occur in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The federal government has cracked down by regulating nursing homes more thoroughly in recent years, and states are also choosing to create their own laws as well.

If you live in Wisconsin and you have a loved one who is currently a resident of a nursing home facility, it is important that you understand Wisconsin nursing home laws and regulations so that you can better look after your loved one’s wellbeing.

Governing Bodies

In an attempt to quell nursing home abuse and neglect, the Wisconsin nursing home laws and regulations set forth one governing body when it comes to this problem specifically: the Division of Quality Assurance of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. It is this department’s responsibility to investigate any cases of suspected nursing home abuse as well as to ensure laws and regulations are followed by all adult care facilities.

The state of Wisconsin follows all federal regulations when it comes to nursing home care, but they also have two different sets of laws that have been put into place as well including:

  • Chapter DHS 132 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code
  • Chapter 50 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

If you would like to learn more about either of these or both, you can find them by going to www.dhs.wisconsin.gov and choosing regulations. This will give you access to the specific Wisconsin nursing home laws and regulations if you would like to read them. However, some of the basics include the following:

  • Each resident should receive medical and personal care based on their own mental and physical condition.
  • All nursing homes and residents should have access to 24-hour nursing services.
  • All nursing care should include skilled as well as limited and intermediate care readily available at any time.

It is the responsibility of the nursing facility to uphold these laws and regulations. If they don’t, then they are in violation.

Reporting Abuse

Wisconsin nursing homes laws and regulations have ensured it is easy for anyone to report suspected cases of nursing home abuse. You can file a complaint by talking directly to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services through their hotline at 1-800-642-6552. Alternatively, you can file an online form that lets you do everything right from your computer by going here. If you would prefer to make the complaint in person, then you can locate a DHS regional office closest to you. For more information on how to file complaints, visit www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/guide/complaints.

Elder abuse, exploitation and neglect happens all too often in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. However, Wisconsin nursing home laws and regulations are attempting to turn this tide in favor of the patients and their loved ones. While it is required that medical professionals report any abuse or neglect that they see, they often do not notice because they are busy. So, if you have a loved one who is living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, then it is vital that you are aware of their level of care. And, if you have any reason to believe that they have been abused, you should report it right away so that their wellbeing can be looked after.

Resources:

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/regulations/nh/regulations.htm

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/guide/complaints.htm

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/caregiver/elderabuse.htm

 

 

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