relatively basic, getting the records can be an ordeal if the facility does not keep organised records or is hesitant to produce them. After the records are received, we typically have the chart organised and reviewed by a nurse in our office who can ensure the chart is complete and we are not missing any vital information. After ensuring the medical records are complete, we then review them to determine how the incident or neglect occurred. Usually, this means looking at the resident’s care plan to assess what type of care was set to be provided according to the plan versus what was actually done (or not done) by the staff at the facility. This is where we usually find issues. Assuming there are deficiencies with the care provided, we will usually have a report prepared to clearly set forth where the errors were made. At this time we may approach the facility or their insurance company to see if the case can be resolved prior to litigation. Depending on the facility and the issues involved, the case may get resolved. If the facility is unwilling to negotiate or does not offer a fair settlement, we will likely file a lawsuit against the facility. The nursing home litigation process can be lengthy. Families need to be prepared for the fact that their case may go on for some time. While most cases get resolved at some point during the litigation process, some cases do go to trial. There are a lot of variables involved, so having an attorney who reports back with the status of the case and what is next with the process is important and a factor that families should consider when retaining a lawyer. What are some common signs of elder abuse or neglect that loved ones should watch out for? Families need to trust their instinct when it comes to the care of their loved one in a nursing home or other type of longterm care facility. When they see physical THOUGHT LEADER 97 Families need to be prepared for the fact that their case may go on for some time.