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Was Your Loved One A Victim of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
The decision to place a loved one in the care of a nursing home is indeed complicated and made all the more difficult if that loved one is experiencing medical hardships. While nursing homes may make every effort to ensure the quality of life for their residents is sufficiently cared for, the approach certainly varies. Unprofessional nursing home dynamics, insufficient staff, inadequate training, and the prioritization of financial income ultimately leads to abuse, neglect, injuries and wrongful death; however, despite the negative reality, nursing homes may be the only option in dire circumstances.
Secure your decision by knowing that seasoned legal professionals are standing by in the event that you or your loved one have suffered abuse and neglect on behalf of nursing home personnel.
Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect experience something called “hidden crimes,” as the nature of the abuse and neglect may be difficult, if not impossible, to recognize. Many victims fear reporting unprofessional behavior out of anticipation of further, if not more aggressive, abuse. Some feel abandoned or trapped in their environment. Those suffering from a weakened mental capacity may not even understand poor treatment is taking place.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is situationally unique; however, four primary types that exist:
- Emotional and social neglect. A resident can repeatedly be ignored, isolated, or subjected to verbal abuse.
- Personal hygiene neglect. A resident should have sufficient access to, and assistance with, hygienic practices.
- Basic needs neglect. Residents should be provided with food, water, and a safe and clean environment.
- Medical needs neglect. Nursing home personnel should be aware of medical and mobility concerns, provide proper medication, and actively prevent neglect.
Detecting signs early on is a significant step in building a nursing home abuse and neglect claim. While hardly an exhaustive list, family members should look for the following signs:
- Pressure ulcers (bed sores).
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss.
- Unusual changes in behavior or emotional withdrawal.
- Lack of personal hygiene, such as soiled clothes or body odor.
- Unexplained bruises, bleeding abrasions, diseases, or infections.
- Fall-related injuries.
- Muted demeanor around nursing home personnel.
- Malnutrition or dehydration.
- Sexual abuse.
- Changes in the elder’s will or power of attorney.
- Sudden financial hardship or bills left unpaid.
If you suspect abuse and/or neglect is occurring, take your loved one to a safe environment and inquire further. Record detailed accounts and all relevant information associated with the incident. Contact the nursing home administration, the appropriate authorities, and seek immediate legal counsel.
Hiring A Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect Attorney
A report made by Congress revealed that one-third of all nursing homes in the United States were cited for abuse and neglect, with reported injuries including hip fractures. Moreover, approximately 84% of abuse cases go unreported or unrecognized. Nursing home personnel may dispute personal injury claims by attributing physical or mental deterioration to the aging process or preexisting health conditions; however, the award-winning attorneys at the Shiner Law Group are nevertheless dedicated to protecting vulnerable residents and holding those who inflict physical and emotional harm responsible.
Our attorneys provide a basic list loved ones can follow to recognize substandard care:
- Visit loved ones frequently and unannounced.
- Speak with staff and other residents.
- Ensure your loved one receives proper hygiene.
- Ensure reasonable access to food, water, and a safe and clean environment.
For over 15 years, our legal team has successfully represented Fort Lauderdale families in nursing home abuse and neglect cases, recovering millions of dollars in damages, because we are committed to safeguarding your rights. We have proven experience with the nursing home industry’s practices, and we are prepared to bring even the largest chains to court to fight on behalf of your legal and financial interests.
A nursing home and/or its employees can be held liable for any damages resulting from negligence: medical bills, disability, pain, and suffering, or disfigurement. Don’t become a statistic. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.
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