Do You Need a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
Nursing homes are supposed to aid and protect our aging loved ones — not hurt them. However, for an alarming number of families, nursing homes have taken advantage of their trust. From neglect to abuse to mishandled care, nursing homes are not living up to their duties of taking care of the elderly, even though we pay them dearly. Did your parent or spouse die unexpectedly in a nursing home or in a wandering accident after being left unattended in a memory care facility? If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of neglect, physical abuse, medication error, sexual abuse or exploitation, you need to consider filing a lawsuit. Call Baron & Budd to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer today.
When visiting your loved ones, here are the signs of abuse and neglect we encourage you to look out for:
- Physical signs of abuse such as bruising, falls, broken bones, bed sores, black eyes, cuts or scarring.
- A dramatic decrease in physical or emotional health.
- Fear or hesitation on behalf of the elder when they receive care, treatment or assistance from staff members.
- Lack or delay of medical treatment.
- Incomplete health reports, information regarding elder care or being unable to talk to elders on the phone for extended periods of time.
- Increase in elder hospitalization or required treatments and/or medication.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, memory care, or special care facility and you believe they are being neglected, abused or otherwise mistreated, please contact our elder abuse lawsuit attorneys at 866-612-0246 or complete our contact form.
A Nursing Home’s Standard of Care
The law, as specified by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General, requires all health care providers to meet the appropriate “standard of care” for a reasonable and prudent provider. When a nursing home fails to meet these standards, the patients and residents within the nursing home or memory care facility may be harmed or suffer from neglect. Some of these standards include:
- Responsible hiring, management and maintenance of the facility and its personnel.
- Responsible monitoring of the facility and its employees.
- Compliance with legal requirements such as the Nurse Practice Act.
- Appropriately monitoring and treating the physical and emotional needs of the patient.
- Following physician orders.
- Documenting care, treatment, and physical assessments.
- Creating and implementing a medical plan of care.
- Communicating with other health care providers and family members to ensure a continuity of care.
These violations can result in injuries such as:
- Falls or Unexplained Bruises
- Clogged Breathings Tubes
- Infections / Sepsis
- Verbal, Physical or Sexual Abuse
- Restraints, Either Physical or Chemical
- Malnutrition or Rapid Weight Loss
- Medication Dosage Errors
- Neurological Changes such as Confusion
- Stolen Financial Information or Property
- Development of Bed Sores
- Unexplained, Sudden Agitation or Withdrawal
- Aggressive, Invasive and Expensive Medical Care
Why File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
For our parents; for our family.
Nursing homes and care facilities are meant to help our elderly — to provide them with a safe place to live with dignity and medical attention. Our loved ones should not suffer unexplained injuries, malnutrition, sepsis, and especially not untimely death at the hands of their caregivers. When a nursing home takes advantage of your trust, we owe it to our loved ones and other patients to address the issue and when appropriate, hold them accountable for their action (or inaction). Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer now. It is our obligation to protect the most vulnerable in our families.
Nursing home mistreatment or abuse may include:
Emotional abuse in nursing homes includes situations where elders are brought into undue emotional distress through language and forms of emotional — rather than physical — violence. Forms of emotional violence may include intimidation, humiliation, cruel language, blaming or scapegoating. Emotional abuse can be particularly difficult for elders to speak up against; often they may be told “that didn’t happen” or “that must have been your imagination,” even when there were witnesses who heard the abuse. If a loved one is emotionally abused in a nursing home, they may use denial as a coping mechanism and out of fear of retaliation from the predatory nursing home worker. You can file a lawsuit for emotional abuse suffered by a family member in a care facility.
Physical abuse in nursing homes may be one of the most “easy” forms of abuse to identify — but that is only if family members and friends visit or receive thorough reports of their loved one’s condition.
Examples of physical abuse include unnecessary or dangerous use of restraints, hitting, scratching, biting, shoving or using undue force when “assisting” elders. Nursing home abuse injuries from violence often leave loved ones with bruises, cuts, and other visible marks that may confirm your suspicions, but not always. If you file a lawsuit for physical at a nursing home, you could get compensation.
Nursing home neglect can take many different forms. It can reflect poor active care where the “care” harms the elder or inactive care when there is a failure to treat and monitor the elder’s condition. Some examples of elder neglect include failure to administer and assist elders with their medications in a regular and timely fashion; failure to monitor and assist with nutrition; failure to monitor and treat the elder’s physical and mental issues; failure to communicate with other health care providers to ensure continuity of care. Neglect is a type of abuse in nursing homes because residents rely on caregivers for everything. A nursing home lawyer can help determine if you have a valid claim for caregiver neglect.
Sexual abuse is defined as non-consensual sexual contact. Unfortunately, elders may be pressured, manipulated or coerced into sexual contact. Sexually abused elders may also be taken advantage of during assisted care, recreational activities or while they are sleeping. If you believe a loved one has been the victim of sexual assault in a nursing home, contact us immediately. We can help you file a lawsuit for sexual abuse that occurred in a nursing home, group home, assisted living, or other elderly or memory care facility.
When elder abuse occurs in nursing homes, the abuse tends to arise in many forms. Elders who are sexually assaulted may also be physically or emotionally abused.
Elder Abuse is a Federal Crime
The Elder Justice Act (part of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act H.R. 3590) was first passed in 2010, authorizing the release of federal funds and other resources toward the protection of elder Americans from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In addition, the Act allocated specific resources be directed at monitoring conditions of nursing homes and special care facilities, and providing additional monetary resources for Long Term Care Ombudsman programs and Adult Protective Services. Although elder abuse is indeed a federal crime, The Elder Justice Act gives states broad regulatory and enforcement responsibility.
Our elder abuse lawyers can help you get justice for your loved one. If you believe an elderly loved one has been the victim of neglect, exploitation, or abuse at a nursing home, contact us now.
According to some of the most recent research surrounding elder abuse, around 10% of seniors experience elder abuse each year. Some of this abuse can be so severe and dangerous, even resulting in the loss of life. And yet, unfortunately, all too often, many of these abuses go unreported.
Because many victims of elder abuse are vulnerable — in weakened and frail health — and sometimes even forgetful, elder abuse is a particularly difficult issue to identify. What’s more, victims of elder abuse may even find themselves in positions where they are unable to speak up, seek help or protect themselves from the abuse because of their frail health.
Because of the difficulty of identifying elder abuse — and because of a serious abuse of patient care and negligence on behalf of nursing homes and those they hire — it is estimated that around 1,800 deaths occur each year because of elder abuse. That’s a big number, and it’s made up of individual cases each and every day, senior citizens who should only be respected and nurtured in our country but who are too often taken advantage of.
What’s more, according to a study published in 2011 titled, “Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study,” the “elder abuse incidence rate was nearly 24 times greater than the number of cases referred to social service, law enforcement, or legal authorities who have the capacity as well as the responsibility to assist older adult victims.”
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, these numbers work out to mean that around 1 in 10 Americans age 65 and over experienced abuse over the period of one year. For those with dementia or Alzheimer’s in a memory care facility, the rate of abuse may be even higher.
That’s not because the nursing homes themselves should not be responsible for the elders for whom we entrust them to care (they should); that’s not because the staff members employed or paid by nursing homes should not be held accountable, sufficiently trained or — yes — treat elders with the respect and care they deserve (they should); that’s not because our government and state officials should not make sure that our elders are protected as they age and begin nursing home care (they should). But, the responsibility is yours, as the advocate and protector of your loved one. This might have been something your loved one said themselves, “if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself.” In terms of being proactive and righting the wrongs surrounding elder abuse in nursing homes, that common phrase couldn’t be more true today.
What’s more, taking action against elder abuse or neglect helps you make sure that other elders are not mistreated in the future. It is our combined obligation to advocate for those most vulnerable – to protect their dignity as well as their physical well-being. It is our responsibility as fellow human beings to report nursing home abuse immediately and with fervor.
This question is almost impossible to answer because of how unimaginable elder abuse is — to think that our elders, the people in our society who deserve nothing but love and respect, are mistreated is very hard to grasp. Unfortunately, elder abuse occurs more than any of us would like to think.
While the reasons behind elder abuse may vary, our nursing home lawyers have found that the root problems tend to center around nursing home owners and/or managers hiring incompetent personnel, failing to properly train staff members and/or overworking staff members, and failing to monitor nursing home conditions and personnel. Shockingly, nursing home abuse occurs in a variety of quality homes — from “Adequate” to “Pristine, hotel-like” homes. Elder abuse can even occur in nursing homes that come highly-rated from friends and family or appear very professional and safe.
Do You Qualify? – 866-612-0246
You may be able to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit to be compensated for your or your loved one’s injuries, medical expenses and continued care. You’ll also be able to send a clear message to the negligent caretakers: treat our elderly with respect!