When our loved ones become too frail or confused to live on their own, one option is to put them in a safe setting like a nursing home where they get round-the-clock care and supervision. We do our investigating and seek advice on the best nursing home to put a relative in that is within the family budget. But, many times, the nursing home falls short of our expectations and does not give our loved ones the care they deserve and need. This is the time to seek legal help to sue the offending nursing home.
When Should You Consider a Lawsuit?
When a family complains about their family member’s care and treatment at a nursing home and do not get the attention or the improvement they seek, considering a lawsuit may be the next step. Nursing home abuse lawsuits have been on the rise for some years. It is important to seek the help of a law firm that has experience in this type of lawsuit.
What Should You Know about Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is any form of elder abuse that happens in an institutional setting like a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or another institutional setting housing the elderly.
Even though elder abuse happens in these settings, they are very regulated with attention to elder abuse prevention, detection, and investigation. But someone has to see the abuse and report it. This is where the system often fails. Nursing homes often operate with short staffing which means elderly residents do not get the attention they need.
Staff can be hired without adequate background checks and then go on to abuse the elderly residents with physical or psychological abuse. In other cases, the abusers are other elderly residents because of too little supervision by staff. Nursing homes housing Alzheimer’s patients need to be especially vigilant because these patients may be aggressive, verbally abusive, and sexually aggressive. Neglect can lead to residents being abused and even injured.
How Does Nursing Home Abuse Happen?
Nursing home abuse or neglect happens when there is too little supervision in a nursing home or when the people running the nursing home do not take the proper steps to care for and keep elderly residents safe. This is a nursing home owner and manager’s negligence.
Some ways to tell a loved one has been abused in a nursing home include:
- There are unexplained sprains, fractures, or dislocations
- You can see bruises, scars, wounds, or welts on the family member’s body
- There are visible signs of physical restraint such as rope marks of wrists or ankles
- Eyeglasses or dentures are broken or damaged
- The resident is wearing soiled clothing or developing rashes and bedsores
- The family member asks for help, cries about bad treatment, or shows other signs of distress
- A high number of sick days listed
- Damaged or bloody undergarments, bruising around breasts or private areas, vaginal infections, or other troubling issues
How Does Nursing Home Abuse Affect the Victim?
Nursing home neglect or abuse can affect both a person’s physical and mental health. Bad treatment or neglect can actually shorten a person’s life. Nursing home patients who are neglected or abused can become depressed or decline mentally.
What is the Proper Action To Take?
When a person suspects their family member is being neglected or abused it should be reported to the nursing home administration. but, if the nursing home administers does not act quickly to investigate and correct the situation, the next step is to retain a law firm that has experience with nursing home abuse lawsuits.