Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Although many assisted living and nursing home facilities employ compassionate professionals who truly care about their residents, nursing home abuse is a growing problem that can cause serious injury, illness, emotional distress, and even death. The Team at Stanley Law believes that all human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of age or ability. We’re dedicated to helping victims of nursing home abuse and neglect, and their families, find justice and MAXIMUM Award for their damages.

Types Of Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect

When a loved one can no longer live on their own, making the decision to place them in a nursing home is quite difficult. Joe knows – putting your trust and confidence in others to take care of your loved one as you would is a big burden to carry, and when that trust is broken, it can be devastating for everyone involved.

It’s important to be aware of the types of abuse that can occur in nursing homes and other facilities. Nursing home abuse and neglect may include:

  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
  • Inadequate food and drink, which can cause malnourishment or dehydration.
  • Untreated conditions and illnesses.
  • ​Misdiagnosis.
  • ​Improper administration of medications.
  • ​Failing to request outside medical support.
  • ​Inadequate supervision, which can lead to falling.
  • ​Lack of an effective evacuation plan in case of an emergency such as a natural disaster or fire.

Signs Of Elder Abuse Or Neglect

Because injuries and illnesses do happen from time to time, the signs of neglect and abuse may not be obvious. However, there are some major signs to look for, including:

  • Bedsores and Bruising — Strange markings or sores do not typically appear on the skin without a reason. If there’s no obvious cause for a sore or injury, it could be the result of neglect or abuse.
  • Dehydration or Malnutrition — Getting essential vitamins and nutrients is part of a caring, nurturing environment. If your loved one is losing weight, always seems to be hungry or thirsty, or looks malnourished, it could be a sign of neglect.
  • Visible Fear — Your loved one should be content and happy if they are in good hands. If they seem withdrawn, upset, or scared when you visit, it could be a sign of verbal and/or physical abuse.
  • Unexplained Death or Illness — If your loved one has suddenly passed away or becomes very ill without previously having symptoms, it is essential to speak with their health care providers and administrators about exactly what happened.

How A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help

The elderly have rights and protecting your loved one should be a top priority. If your loved one is being abused or isn’t receiving proper care, our nursing home abuse lawyers fight to ensure your family is compensated in a way that allows you to put them in a better senior living facility that will take care of them with respect, dignity, and compassion.

Although financial compensation can’t take away your loved one’s pain, holding these organizations accountable for their actions may very well prevent others from being abused. If you have lost a loved one and suspect that abuse or neglect played a role in their death, our attorneys will pursue every possible avenue to get to the bottom of the matter and recover the compensation your family deserves.

How Common Is Nursing Home Neglect?

Unfortunately, nursing home neglect, which is a type of elder abuse, is far too common. According to the National Association of nursing home attorneys, an estimated 5 million elders are abused in nursing homes every year. A national survey showed that 36% of nursing home residents witnessed at least one incident of someone physically abusing an elderly patient in the previous year.

The survey also showed that 10% of the respondents admitted to committing at least one act of physical abuse towards an elderly patient, and 40% admitted to psychologically abusing elderly patients. It is difficult to accurately estimate how many residents are neglected because many cases are not reported. Experts have speculated that only one out of every 14 cases of abuse are reported.

Why Are The Elderly Vulnerable To Abuse And Neglect?

Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Many residents have some physical difficulty or cognitive condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease, social isolation, or dementia. These conditions make nursing home residents more vulnerable to abuse. When nursing home staff improperly distribute or over-medicate patients to make them more compliant, they are at an increased risk of being abused because they may not report the abuse or neglect.

Women with disabilities and people with dementia are at a higher risk of being neglected or abused. Women with disabilities who reside in nursing homes have reported a 33% prevalence of experiencing interpersonal violence versus 21% of women living in nursing homes without disabilities. Sadly, the people who nursing home residents should trust the most are most likely to abuse or neglect them. As many as 90% of abusers are people residents trust, such as staff members, doctors, nurses, or visitors.

Ways To Prevent Elder Neglect And Abuse

Nursing home neglect is serious and can cause devastating injuries and even death. However, nursing home neglect can often be prevented. If your loved one is in a nursing home, staying aware and taking part in their life is an important aspect of prevention. The more engaged you are, the more ready you will be to detect nursing home neglect early on before it causes serious harm. Here are the ways that you can prevent nursing home neglect:

  • Communicate: Engage with nursing home staff and residents. If a resident has complaints or concerns, take them seriously. Inform the staff, so they know that you are aware of the potential issues happening with your loved one. Write down all of the warning signs you see along with their dates and who you spoke to about the incident. Inform the staff that you will be watching to see how they resolved the issue.
  • Educate Yourself: Learn about the different types of nursing home neglect and ways to prevent neglect from happening. Spread the word to your family members and friends who are also involved in the nursing home resident’s life. The more people watch for signs of neglect, the more likely someone will notice the neglect early on and correct it as soon as possible.
  • Research the nursing home: Before choosing a facility for your loved one or yourself, take time to do your research. Do not take the nursing home staff’s word for it, but conduct outside research to look for signs of nursing home neglect. What is the vetting process like for nursing home staff members? What are the staff members’ qualifications? What is the ratio between staff members and residents? Do residents have a way to voice their concerns and have them addressed by the nursing home staff? Does the facility have a history of neglect or abuse?
  • Visit the nursing home: Frequent visits to the nursing home are an excellent way to check on the resident’s condition and the state of the nursing home facility. If you start to notice sanitation issues, hygiene problems, understaffing, or any other signs of nursing home neglect, be sure to make your concerns known.

What to Do If You Become Aware Of Nursing Home Neglect

If you do become aware of nursing home neglect, it is important that you act decisively and quickly to prevent further harm. The first step involves an incident of neglect to the nursing home management. You may need to report the incident to law enforcement. After filing your initial report, we recommend getting legal advice from an experienced attorney. Depending on how seriously your loved one was injured from the neglect, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the nursing home. Nursing homes can be held liable for the harm their residents experienced because of their neglect.

Contact Your Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Today

If you or your loved one has been injured in a nursing home, Stanley Law Offices is here to help. We carefully listen to the facts of your case and advise you of your legal options. Our legal team knows how to thoroughly investigate elder abuse cases and advocate fiercely for our clients. Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.