Nursing home neglect and abuse is sadly, a very common problem in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. Whether intentional or unintentional, elder abuse is dangerous and can lead to serious physical injury or even death. Learning the signs of abuse to look for can help you advocate for family members living in an assisted living facility.
What is nursing home neglect?
Nursing home neglect, or nursing home abuse, is the mistreatment of older adults living in an assisted living facility. This type of mistreatment can be intentional or unintentional. Unfortunately, this abuse is quite common and can lead to severe injuries and even death. Elderly adults are especially vulnerable to this type of neglect because of their functional dependence or caregivers and poor physical health. It is important for loved ones and relatives to be aware of warning signs so that nursing home abuse can be reported and stopped.
Nursing Home Warning Signs
Knowing nursing home neglect signs is imperative when advocating for a loved one on an assisted living facility. Learning the signs of abuse can aid in the reporting of abuse and preventing further damage.
- Infections that turn into sepsis
- Broken bones
- Falls that cause further injury such as head injuries or broken bones
- Unexplained weight loss
- Soiled clothing that hasn’t been changed
Many nursing home neglect cases begin with one warning sign, and are overlooked or not properly cared for, which can escalate the problems and can even lead to death.
Causes of Nursing home abuse
There are several reasons why nursing home abuse happens. Many reasons are rooted in the facility prioritizing profits and unfit caregivers. Staffing shortages can create a work overload of caregivers, leading to over-stressed workers and improperly cared for residents. When the facility does not provide proper training for caregivers, care for the residents suffer.
Types of Nursing home abuse
Nursing Home Neglect – This is when residents are left unattended for extended periods of time. This can lead to bedsore injuries, dehydration and further injury.
Physical Abuse – This is when staff members and caregivers intentionally cause physical harm.
Sexual Abuse – This includes unwanted sexual activity in any way.
Nursing home abuse attorneys can work to obtain financial compensation for injuries caused because of nursing home abuse. This compensation can cover hospital stays, medical bills and sometimes even punitive damages caused by the abuse. If your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, contact a trusted nursing home attorney for a free case evaluation today.
Frequently Asked Questions about Nursing Home Abuse
Q: What should I do if I suspect that my loved one is being abused in a nursing home?
A: If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, it is important to take action immediately. You should report your concerns to the nursing home administrator or staff members and document any evidence of abuse or neglect. You should also contact a nursing home abuse lawyer who can advise you on your legal options and help you protect your loved one’s rights.
Q: What are some signs of nursing home abuse?
A: Signs of nursing home abuse may include unexplained bruises or injuries, sudden changes in behavior or mood, withdrawal from social activities, unexplained weight loss, poor hygiene, or unexplained financial transactions.
Q: How can a nursing home abuse lawyer help me?
A: A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you protect your loved one’s rights and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. They can investigate the abuse, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Q: What damages can I recover in a nursing home abuse case?
A: Damages that can be recovered in a nursing home abuse case may include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other related expenses.
Q: How long do I have to file a nursing home abuse claim?
A: The statute of limitations for filing a nursing home abuse claim varies depending on the state where the abuse occurred. It is important to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is filed within the applicable time limit.
Q: How much does it cost to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer?
A: Many nursing home abuse lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they do not charge any upfront fees and only receive a percentage of the compensation that you recover in your case. You should discuss the attorney’s fees and costs during your initial consultation.