Nursing home negligence is a very serious issue requiring an experienced attorney to protect your loved one’s rights and wellbeing.
When you place a loved one into a nursing home, you trust that they’ll receive the care they need and they will receive proper care and attention. Unfortunately, negligence and abuse is all too common and the eldery are the most vulnerable people in our society. Nursing home negligence may include victimization by staff members or other residents, a lack of social services or proper medical care, poorly trained staff, malnutrition, fraud, theft or mistreatment.
The decision to place parents or older relatives into a nursing home is a difficult decision and many people feel guilty, despite the reality that you most likely do not have the experience to provide the type of care your loved one requires. According to the American Health Care Association, around 50% of people will one day need to live in a nursing home and most of these homes are operated by large chains and for-profit businesses. After you’ve made this difficult decision, there is nothing worse than discovering your loved one has been neglected.
If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse it’s important to consult with an attorney who specializes nursing home negligence. Health care providers must be held responsible when they fail to meet the standard of care and allow harm to come to your loved one. We have years of experience dealing with these difficult cases and we understand how to hold providers liable for compensation in cases of elder abuse or nursing home neglect.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
If you’ve placed your loved one in a nursing home, it’s vital that you remain vigilant when you visit to look for signs of neglect or outright abuse. Common signs include:
- Bed sores
- Dirty clothing, room or sheets
- Broken bones or other injuries
- Any unexplained injury
- A general unkempt appearance
- Malnutrition (weight loss)
- Over-medicated residents in the facility
- Emotional withdrawal or increased agitation
- Your loved one has missing possessions
- Staff will not allow unsupervised visits with your loved one
- Bank activity that can’t be explained
- Changes in any financial documents
Unfortunately, much of the neglect that occurs in a nursing home or assisted living facility goes without any intervention at all and many medical conditions like dementia can make detecting neglect or abuse very difficult. Some residents may be unable to report abuse or afraid to say anything for fear of retaliation or creating a burden to their family. Carefully watching for these signs can make all the difference and bring the problem to your attention so you can take the steps necessary to protect your family member from any neglect or abuse in the future.
Types of Cases We Handle
There are many forms of nursing home and assisted living abuse or neglect, including cases of wrongful death, fraud and improper supervision. We represent residents and family members in cases that involve:
- Bed sores,pressure sores or decubitus ulcers
- Slip and fall accidents
- Elopement, which refers to a resident’s ability to leave the nursing home without supervision or notice
- Wandering, when a cognitively-impaired resident of the nursing home enters a dangerous situation on the property through aimless wandering
- Physical or sexual abuse or assault
- Verbal abuse of your loved one
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Medication errors
- Burns, choking or breathing tubes which become clogged
- Back and head injuries
- Broken bones
According to the CDC as many as 1 out of 10 residents in nursing homes currently have a bedsore. That alarming statistic just shows the lack of attention being given to residents at care facilities. Bedsores are serious health concerns and once identified they need to be treated immediately. It is best to prevent a bedsore before it starts, because they are often at a very advanced stage once noticed and require long slow treatment. The best treatment for a bedsore is prevention by careful daily inspection of the skin, regular and periodic changes in position and proper nutrition.
Slip and fall accidents are the primary cause of back injuries in a nursing home, which may be the result of inadequate staffing, failure to address hazards on the property or other forms of neglect. Back injuries can be very serious, particularly to the elderly, and may result in a spinal cord injury, paraplegia, slipped or ruptured disks, a lumbar injury or chronic lower back pain. If your loved one suffered a back injury at their nursing home, an injury attorney can help you seek compensation to cover medical expenses and pain and suffering, as well as treatment and rehabilitation for the injury.
If your loved one has suffered broken bones in a nursing home, this is a very serious injury as older people cannot heal from a broken bones as easily as younger people. Many patients also develop depression as a result of their reduced mobility and this injury can lead to complications such as osteoporosis. There are many causes of broken bones in a nursing home, including poor equipment and fall hazards. Most of these injuries are completely preventable if staff take precautions and make sure equipment in the facility is well maintained.
If your loved one has suffered from a broken bone in a nursing home, it may be due to negligent maintenance, failure to address hazards or under staffing. Providers should accept full responsibility for these injuries and it’s important to speak with a nursing home neglect attorney right away to protect your loved one from further injury.
Head injuries in a nursing home setting can be caused by many things, including abusive staff, fall hazards, poorly maintained equipment, residents who are allowed to wander and staff who do not recognize the unique needs or problems of residents, including difficulty getting out of bed. These cases are, unfortunately, all too common and may lead to a wrongful death suit if your loved one is killed as a result of the accident.
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