When your loved one needs professional care, moving them to a nursing home where they can receive that care is supposed to bring peace of mind. However, you may notice that your loved one is acting differently, has injuries, or seems malnourished—which can all indicate that they are dealing with abuse or neglect.
After your loved one is out of the harmful environment, we may be able to help you hold the negligent nursing home accountable. A Greenbelt nursing home abuse lawyer from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC will stand by your side and help you represent your loved one. No one deserves to be treated without dignity or respect. We’ll do everything we can to maximize your compensation and help you secure your loved one’s future.
We understand how emotionally difficult it can be to learn your loved one’s wellbeing was put at risk. Bringing a claim forward may achieve two important outcomes. The first is recovering the damages your loved one suffered. Then, since you’re holding the nursing home liable, you may incite change within the home, so no other resident has to go through this.
You may be curious about what rights your loved one is guaranteed. Let’s look into nursing home residents’ rights and what the nursing home has to provide as well as actions they are not allowed to take.
What Rights Do Nursing Home Residents Have?
Residents in nursing homes have rights under the Code of Maryland Regulation 10.07.08.08. Under this code, the nursing facility needs to do the following:
- Provide residents with dignity and respect and recognize residents’ individuality. The nursing home environment also needs to reflect this.
- They cannot interfere with a resident exercising their rights granted by the Constitution of Maryland.
Maryland nursing home residents have many rights, including the freedom from:
- Physical abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Use of physical or chemical restraints used for discipline or control
- Mental abuse
- Involuntary seclusion
If any of these rights are violated, you can seek justice for your loved one with the help of our Greenbelt nursing home abuse lawyer. We’ll investigate what happened and which of your loved one’s rights were violated. If you’re wondering about your loved one’s treatment in their nursing home, there are a few items to keep in mind when you’re visiting them. Let’s look into the mental checklist you can have to get a better look at how the staff is treating your loved one.
What Are the Signs That Nursing Home Abuse Is Occurring?
Since there are many kinds of nursing home abuse, there are a number of symptoms and signs to look out for. It’s important to keep in mind that your loved one may not be able to communicate that something is wrong. It could be from embarrassment or fear, but there could be health complications that are a major factor as well. Nursing home residents may suffer from dementia and could have difficulty with communication. Sometimes, verbal communication may not be something a resident can do. You can help advocate for your loved one and look out for signs of nursing home abuse:
- Physical Indicators. Bruising and broken bones could indicate physical abuse. Sexual abuse could also have physical indicators like injuries around the pelvic area as well as bleeding or developing an STD. If you notice markings around your loved one’s wrists, they could be from the use of restraints, which is illegal.
- Emotional Changes. If you notice uncharacteristic behavior from your loved one, like a change in mood or demeanor, they may be subjected to verbal or mental abuse. When a staff member speaks rudely, uses foul language, or purposely insults your loved one, this takes a serious toll on their self-esteem. Staff members may also not take your loved one to social activities, so they feel cut off from others. If a senior is left alone with nothing to do all day, they can develop depression.
While these are signs to look for in your loved one, you may also want to visit the nursing home as frequently as possible, and not during normal visiting hours. You can get a feel for how things are run. If you have questions for the staff, you can assess if they seem alert and have answers for you, or if they seem evasive or unfocused. You want to make sure the most qualified people are providing your loved one with care. If staff seem inattentive, they may not be giving your loved one the focus they need.
You can also get a feel for how often your loved one is seen throughout the day. Some residents may need assistance with hygiene, such as brushing hair or teeth, bathing, and changing into fresh clothes each day. If your loved one is clean, has a tidy, well-kept room, and the overall home is clean, these are good indicators that cleanliness and sanitation are priorities and staff is attending to your loved one on a regular basis. Also, a clean environment reduces the chances of illnesses spreading, which is paramount because seniors typically have weaker immune systems. While the occasional mess may happen, noticing a consistent lack of cleanliness can be an important indicator if your loved one is in a safe environment.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys will gather evidence of abuse or neglect to show that the nursing home was acting negligently and harming your loved one. We’ll look into medical records and assess the living conditions of your loved one to get a clear picture of what they were going through. While we can’t take away what your family member experienced, we can make sure they get justice for what happened and the nursing home knows this cannot ever happen again.
Do You Suspect Your Loved One Is Being Abused?
If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, your first priority will be getting them to safety. Contact Adult Protective Services and they can provide assistance. Once your loved one is in a safe environment, you can begin fighting for their rights and holding the nursing home accountable for abusing or neglecting your loved one. Our Greenbelt nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to defend your loved one. Give Belsky & Horowitz, LLC a call today to schedule a free case evaluation.