NURSING HOME NEGLECT
The nursing home abuse lawyers at Fiffik Law Group strive to keep the elder community as safe as possible. Our firm takes pride in assisting any families whose parents or grandparents have been neglected in nursing homes.
HOW TO SPOT NURSING HOME NEGLECT
Neglect can come in many forms. Here are a few troubling examples of how nursing homes can neglect those they should be caring for:
Neglect of Basic Needs
Though it may seem unthinkable that a nursing home would neglect the most basic needs of their patients, it happens all the time. It is sadly common for those in a nursing home to suffer from malnutrition and dehydration. Look for signs that your loved one doesn’t have basic needs (such as water and food). These signs could include weight loss, confusion, or sunken eyes.
Neglect of Personal Hygiene
For the elderly, daily hygiene without help can be challenging. Nursing home neglect victims may not be getting help with basic hygiene needs, like fresh clothes or help with teeth brushing. If you noticed your loved one in a nursing home doesn’t seem to be up to his or her usual standards for cleanliness, it may signal that the staff isn’t helping them with bathing, grooming, or basic hygiene.
The signs of neglect are often the signs of aging (weight loss, confusion, or trouble with balance), so identifying neglect is difficult. Perhaps the most challenging of all neglects to spot, however, is emotional neglect. There are no physical signs that your loved one is being emotionally neglected, but to someone who is lonely, it can be as bad as any other form of abuse. When staff aren’t kind or friendly to those in the nursing home or they ignore their patients completely, it is a form of neglect.
Most people place their loved one in a nursing home in order for them to receive proper care – both daily care and medical care. Unfortunately, some nursing homes neglect the medical needs of the elderly. Some signs of medical neglect include bed sores. Bed sores are basically wounds from pressure – the pressure of sitting or lying in one position too long. Other signs of medical neglect include untreated cuts and failure to provide necessary medications.
COMMON INJURIES IN NURSING HOME NEGLECT CASES
Nursing home neglect can lead to significant physical, emotional, and sexual injuries to residents, as well as wrongful death. Many common injuries are powerful evidence of nursing home neglect.
Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers
Overmedication and overdose
Malnourishment and dehydration
Dosage and medication errors
Injuries from sexual abuse
Broken bones and fractures
Improper wound aftercare
Sepsis and cellulitis
Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION & REGULAR VISITS
Sadly, nursing home staff are less likely to abuse those whose loved ones visit regularly.
The elderly are often unable to say outright that the nursing home is neglecting their basic needs. Patients may fear that the neglect may turn to abuse if they speak out. Afraid and unable to clearly explain what is happening, the abused person may think that they have no options. Protect your loved one from nursing home neglect by having regular interactions with them. Though they may not be able to explain neglect, when a loved one communicates regularly, he or she may be abler to see irregularities that aren’t simply signs of age.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, be diligent about the abuse or neglect that may be happening to those who only have staff members to rely on.
TWO MAIN TYPES OF CLAIMS AGAINST A NURSING HOME FOR NEGLECT
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Negligence, abuse, or neglect led to the nursing home resident’s injuries.
Wrongful Death lawsuit
The nursing home’s actions cause the elderly person’s death.
Your loved one will need to file the lawsuit themselves unless they sign a power of attorney that allows you or another trusted individual to file the lawsuit on your loved one’s behalf. Your loved one will need to be of sound mind when he or she signs this document, so if your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, this may pose an additional issue.
If you cannot obtain a power of attorney document, you can obtain guardianship for your loved one. You will need to obtain this status through a court order. You will need to pay additional fees and attend more court appointments prior to obtaining guardianship.
MONETARY DAMAGES AVAILABLE FOR NURSING HOME NEGLECT VICTIMS
You can recover multiple forms of damages in nursing home neglect lawsuits.
Medical expenses, including medication, surgeries, hospitalization, and therapy
Funeral and burial expenses
Pain and suffering
Loss of quality of life
Punitive damages for especially negligent cases
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence, contact one of the experienced attorneys at Fiffik Law Group right away for a free, no obligation consultation.