There may come a time when your loved one needs 24/7 care to maintain their health and have a high quality of life. While placing your loved one in the care of a nursing home can be an emotionally difficult decision, you’re doing it because you know your loved one deserves the best care. But some homes may have staff that are not equipped to provide this care to your loved one, and abuse or neglect can occur. The National Center on Elder Abuse reported a study that had interviewed 2,000 nursing home residents. Of that group, 44% said they were abused and 95% said they were neglected or witnessed resident neglect. Learning your loved one has been abused is shocking and you may be wondering how you can hold the abuser accountable. This can be done with the help of a Hagerstown nursing home abuse lawyer.
Careful investigative skills, knowledge of state laws, and experience in fighting these types of cases are all qualities the lawyers at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC have. With us at your side, we’ll fight to protect your loved one’s rights and maximize your compensation. As we look into your case, we’ll gather evidence of what happened to your loved one. Let’s look into the types of nursing home abuse that can occur.
Examples and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
There are many kinds of nursing home abuse. All harm your loved one’s wellbeing and cause serious damage to their health. Many patients in nursing homes may be dealing with memory loss issues and with that comes difficulty with miscommunication. Your loved one may not be able to communicate what is happening to them. Look for symptoms or indications of the following types of abuse and neglect when you visit your loved one.
Physical abuse occurs when staff hit, shove, or use other forms of physical force to harm a patient. Those who are experiencing physical abuse may have bruises or cuts. Extreme injuries could also include broken bones. About 29% of abuse complaints in U.S. nursing homes are about physical abuse.
Emotional and psychological abuse occurs when staff swears at residents, insults them, or speaks poorly about them in their presence. About 21% of complaints are about this kind of abuse. The constant belittling can make your loved one’s dignity and self esteem decline and they may start to believe what the staff member is saying. Your loved one may be more isolated or show a change in behavior that’s out of character.
Residents can fall victim to staff who attempt to steal from them. Staff members can steal cards, forge checks, or even influence a resident to change names on a deed that will benefit the staff member. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity on your loved one’s accounts. If there are checks you cannot account for or large sums of money are missing, someone may be stealing from your loved one.
If a resident is shown inappropriate pictures or experiences sexual contact without consent it is considered sexual abuse. Signs of this kind of abuse can be issues with walking, sitting, bruising, torn or stained undergarments, or getting an STD.
Neglect may occur in an understaffed home where those who work there are not able to give each resident the care and attention they deserve. When the disparity between residents and staff is high, this may result in delays in residents getting medication, eating, going to the bathroom, or getting assistance with maintaining their hygiene. Injuries, illness, or having soiled clothing are all outcomes that can occur when staff neglects your loved one.
In some cases, a resident may face abuse from another resident. While the abuse isn’t coming from staff, there should be ways for the staff to prevent conflict and keep both residents safe. These complaints make up about 22% of all complaints to nursing homes. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is under-researched and underreported, which means it could happen more frequently than current statistics show.
Nursing Home Elopement
Elopement is a dangerous situation where a resident can easily get lost and alone. Many residents in a nursing home may have memory problems. If residents wander and do not have adequate supervision, they may leave the premises.
When nursing homes lack the safety protocols and take precautions to keep residents safe, they may not realize the resident is missing until hours have passed. An elderly person may be outside and not know how to get back to the home. If they fall and cannot move or are in extreme weather, their health could be put in jeopardy.
Thinking that any of these could happen to your loved one is painful, but our Hagerstown nursing home abuse lawyers can hold the nursing home responsible for what happened to your loved one. We’ll find the extent of what your loved one suffered and fight to recover the damages they lost.
What to Look for in a Nursing Home
If your suspicious of your loved one’s treatment in a nursing home, you may want to increase your visitations to keep an eye on them and their environment. If your loved one is healthy, well-fed, in a clean environment, and showing no signs of distress, they are most likely in a nursing home that is taking good care of its residents. You can also speak to other residents and their families about their loved one’s level of care.
However, if your loved one seems malnourished, is in old clothing, and the staff doesn’t seem attentive to their needs, you may need to take a closer look at where your loved one is living. Unfortunately, illnesses like dementia can cause moments of distress for your loved one even if they aren’t being abused, so it may be difficult to assess from their mood alone. But if your gut is telling you something isn’t right, follow that feeling and get in touch with our Hagerstown attorneys.
Hagerstown Citizens Have Legal Options
After getting your loved one to a safe place, we can start working on how to get your loved one justice. It may be painful to go over what your loved one had to endure, but our lawyers can show the nursing home their actions were unacceptable and could possibly prevent this from happening to another resident in the future.
We’ll go over your loved one’s case in a free evaluation. Our attorneys will hear your side of the story and will be able to discuss your options about proceeding. Give our office a call today. Our lawyers are ready to help in any way we can.