Before choosing a nursing home for your loved ones, you must do your homework to ensure the facility provides the utmost care to older adults. Unfortunately, despite thorough research, there are instances when the unthinkable happens. Abuse in nursing homes has a long-term impact on the unfortunate victims. Still, a nursing home abuse attorney can assist your family if your loved one suffers emotional distress or injuries while receiving care.
What a Lawyer Can Do
A lawyer specializing in nursing home neglect and abuse can help you file a claim against responsible parties and perpetrators. Know when to hire a personal injury law firm when seeking compensatory damages to minimize the possibility of denied claims. Just like other cases involving personal injuries, your attorney must prove that neglect or abuse happened in the nursing home facility. They will indicate that the claim is substantial with damages and liability.
Your lawyer will establish liability by demonstrating that the facility or the caregiver failed to provide the minimum standard of care and prove that the injuries sustained by the victim are due to the harm caused by a breach of duty. Your lawyer will negotiate a settlement payout out-of-court if they believe that victims have a strong case or file a claim against the institution on your behalf. Your personal injury lawyer will file a lawsuit if these actions fail to bear fruits based on the statute of limitations and guidelines set by state and federal laws.
Steps to Take if You Suspect Abuse
You must report the incident promptly if you suspect abuse within the nursing home. Many maltreatment cases may go unreported since elderly victims fear retaliation from the abusers, who double up as their primary caregivers. They usually fear what the perpetrators will do to them once the concerned authorities come in to resolve their complaints. Rather than confronting the abuser, it’s recommended that you notify the authorities first before moving the senior loved one to a secure facility. Afterward, contact your attorney to know the available legal options for recovering damages from responsible parties. Hiring a reputable legal professional may help hold the responsible individual liable for the sustained harm.
Why Abuse Happens
Senior citizens are susceptible to neglect or abuse due to their increasing reliance on others for their needs. There are numerous risk factors detailing why the mistreatment of older adults happens. For instance, stressed or overworked staff members are more likely to act maliciously or neglect residents, especially if the nursing home has an inadequate workforce. Moreover, senior citizens are more vulnerable to abuse if they have a prevailing disability, mental impairment, or medical conditions, hindering them from efficiently performing day-to-day tasks. Other victims may include older adults with no nearby relatives or friends. These situations increase the chances of the occurrence of abuse.
The Signs of Abuse
Abuse directed at senior citizens in nursing homes is relatively prevalent. You should pay close attention to the listed red flags when visiting your elderly loved one:
- Dirty clothes, unkempt appearance, and signs of poor hygiene
- Worsening medical condition
- Symptoms of dehydration or sudden weight loss
- Broken bones, bleeding, sprains, or dislocations
- Unexplained injuries like scars, bruises, burns, and open wounds
- Displays anxiousness, aggressiveness, and confusion
Abuse may also occur due to financial exploitation. It would be best to look for missing valuable items, considerable withdrawals from close family members’ accounts, and other suspicious activities. Most family members may fail to notice the warning signs, allowing the abuse to continue.
Nursing homes are required by law to provide older adults with high-quality care, but residents may be at risk of neglect or abuse if family members overlook the red flags. If your elderly loved one becomes a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect due to negligence of visitors, caregivers, friends, other patients, or family members, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney. Hire a reliable personal injury attorney who specializes in those living in nursing centers.