Neglect is a huge problem in memory care, assisted living, and nursing home facilities across the country that care for elderly residents. Our attorneys can help you pursue justice for neglect and negligence. Often places that need to pay employees more, like skilled nursing facilities and hospices, try to run a “lean operation”, understaffing to increase profits. The most common issues reported at understaffed facilities include dehydration, malnourishment, pressure sores, infection, and the administration of unnecessary medications to subdue and “knock out” patients. Below is a true story from the daughter of a nursing home resident that sustained catastrophic injuries caused by the nursing home’s neglect.
“My mother was in a nursing home for four years. She could walk on her own and was very independent. Then we noticed that she was having some weakness on her left side. We alerted the staff but they didn’t call in a doctor. Instead, they just gave her some Xanax. Then the weakness began to spread and by day four she was displaying stroke-like symptoms. An ambulance was called in and my mother was transferred to a hospital. Turns out she had a massive stroke that likely began on that day when we noticed weakness on her left side and yet no doctor was called in. My mother now has to use a feeding tube for the rest of her life and has difficulty speaking. So far, no one at my mother’s nursing home has been held accountable for her injuries.”
We’re here to change that.
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If you know an elderly person who was abused or neglected in the care of their nursing home — and suffered disastrous health traumas because of it — you may be able to file a lawsuit with one of our nursing home abuse attorneys to get compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries. What’s more, you can be part of the change that is needed to make nursing homes safe for all residents — a change that no adult today can afford not to help make happen. If you suspect your loved one’s caregivers have failed to provide the medical care expected of them, call our nursing home neglect lawyers today.
Elder Medical Negligence Looks Like:
- Limited, subpar or nonexistent care for existing medical conditions
- Deprivation of necessities like medicine, food or water that leads to medical complications or issues
- Failure to recognize staff-on-resident or resident-on-resident abuse
- Failure to report illness to doctor or family members
- Failure to assist residents in need of help walking or moving positions in bed
- Failure to provide necessary bathing or cleaning; leaving residents to sit or lay for hours in unsanitary conditions after spills, incontinence or other upsets
- Failure to supervise and oversee those with dementia with the extra care they require
- Feeding residents foods which they are allergic to or food that conflicts with their medicine
- Disallowing family members from timely contact with resident or accurate updates on resident’s health
- Use of heavy sedation or physical restrains in place of proper care
- Unsafe or unsanitary bedroom, living, bathroom, recreational or eating areas
- Administering the wrong medication or dosage
In addition, residents may exhibit the following signs of nursing home neglect:
- Frequent dehydration, bed sores, pressure sores, seclusion or sepsis (infections)
- Unreported head injuries, fractures or trauma from frequent falls
- Residents who are left on their own and injured while wandering, and may get lost, in or out of the premises
- Malnutrition and or rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Serious bodily injury such as broken hip, head injuries, and spinal injuries
- Organ failure from dehydration such as kidney failure, liver failure, and degenerative brain injury
- Sudden, unexpected or unexplained death of the resident, perhaps following a time where family and friends were not sufficiently updated on resident’s health status
Other forms of neglect may result from under-staffed facilities. Signs may include:
- One-person transfers when the resident requires two-person transfers
- Not helping residents when they ask to use the toilet
- Turning off call lights or failing to provide necessary medical aids such as walkers, hearing aids, glasses or teeth
What Are the Top Signs of Elder Negligence?
Unfortunately, you, your family members or friends may be the ones that have to spot and speak up against elder neglect or medical negligence; partly because the elders themselves may have suffered physically, emotionally or mentally from the neglect and thus may be in weakened positions, more unlikely to speak up.
Typically, elder neglect and/or medical negligence occurs in environments where the documentation and continual assessments of health and wellbeing are more haphazard than standard. In such an environment, elderly residents may unfortunately fall through the cracks of the unorganized system. If you suspect that a loved one is a victim, we urge you to contact our nursing home neglect lawyers right away.
How Common is Elder Medical Negligence?
According to a study performed by Michigan State University researchers and published in the Journal of elder neglect and abuse, the number of residents harmed in Michigan facilities in one year alone: Over one in five. While more studies are needed to understand the severity of medical negligence and abuse in nursing homes across the country, the percentage of abuse may unfortunately be higher.
Define Neglect of the Elderly in a Nursing Home
It’s pretty simply: Neglect is the failure of a care facility to provide necessary services or goods that, if provided, could prevent physical injury or mental or emotional burden.
In contrast, abuse of the elderly may include physical abuse, emotional abuse or sexual abuse — all forms of abuse that involve willful inflection of injury, instead of the denial of necessary needs.
Aren’t There Rules in Place to Protect the Elderly When in Nursing Homes?
Laws may vary from state to state however all nursing homes must comply with basic nursing standards of care — acting reasonably and prudently as both health care providers and advocates for their residents.
These standards include:
- Monitoring employees and facility
- Performing maintenance of the facility
- Performing responsible hiring and ongoing management of staff members
- Monitoring and addressing the needs of the patient, including both physical and emotional needs
- Following the doctor’s orders
- Reporting incidents of elder negligence, exploitation, and abuse
We are committed to fighting back against nursing home negligence. But we need individuals like you to stand up with us — that’s the only way we can make sure that your case is heard and that, finally, nursing homes around the country take notice, and see that they cannot continue to fail to provide the necessary measures to keep our elderly loved ones safe while in their care. If you suspect your loved one has been neglected in a nursing home, we urge you to contact our attorneys immediately.