Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home facility is a difficult decision that needs to be thoroughly researched. Despite your diligence in choosing a qualified nursing home or elder care facility things can go wrong.
You should be aware of the signs of nursing home abuse to ensure your loved one is getting the proper care. There are only a few things as tragic as abuse targeted towards those who cannot readily defend themselves. Because of this, it is painful when someone you care about falls victim to neglect and abuse in an elder care facility. To discover that a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse is extremely emotional and stressful.
People are often too inclined to rely on anyone with medical certification. This is sometimes the most persuasive way for truly disgraceful people to hide the abuse they visit upon others. Senior abuse is far too often seen and some of its manifestations can be fatal. It doesn’t always take forms that are easy to detect, especially since many of the signs can be confused with signs of illnesses associated with advanced age. Often times, elder abuse results in a feeling of alarm about your loved one; you may not be able to say what, only that something is not right. It is important to consider all the evidence rather than just looking for one tell-tale sign of abuse or negligence.
Common signs Of nursing home abuse
- Sudden change of personality or cognitive function
- Problems with memory and emotional fits that are not typical for the victim
- Deep depressions and a disinterest in visitors
- Nervousness and anxiety that are not normal for the individual
- Dirty fingernails, toenails and teeth
- Poor hygiene
Common forms of nursing home abuse
The care that elderly individuals require in nursing homes varies in their levels of health, mobility, and independence. However, all elder care home residents can easily fall victim to neglect when caretakers act negligently and without care. Some common forms of nursing home abuse include the following:
- Physical abuse, such as forceful grabbing and hitting
- Sexual assault, either performed by other residents or by caregivers
- Fraud and theft from residents
- Mental and emotional abuse, such as humiliation and verbal abuse
- Isolation practices and other detrimental practices
- Malnutrition and improper feeding practices
- Improper medicating practices, such as over-medicating or leaving out vital medications in the daily doses
If, after investigation, you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect you first need to ensure they are safe. Then you need to contact the authorities and report the issue. And finally you should discuss the situation with a qualified nursing home abuse/neglect attorney so that you can fully understand your rights and the compensation you may be entitled to. Elder law attorneys specialize in cases of neglect and nursing home abuse.
How to go about seeking legal advice
The victims of these forms of abuse and neglect are likely to suffer greatly from the experience. From emotional trauma and physical pain to a financial burden, there are a number of hardships that can arise from these unpleasant experiences. Because of this it is imperative those responsible for the experiences are held accountable for their role in causing harm. If your loved one has been harmed in their elder care home, an elder care lawyer can help you seek compensation.
Deciding to file suit may be the best course of action but you need to first find the right attorney for you. Nursing home abuse lawyers have the kind of expertise available that enables them to help you in ways you probably hadn’t considered. If your loved one is in a dangerous situation, it is critical to get them out of the facility as soon as possible.
If elder abuse happened to your loved one, you may be able to get financial compensation for what they’ve been put through. This is when you should involve a competent nursing home abuse attorney to evaluate your case. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney will also be familiar with the nursing homes in the area and any relevant information that might affect your suit, such as prior cases against that home or changes in their insurance coverage or management. You want an attorney who is in the know of things.
Talk about your goals and needs
What do you hope to gain from filing this suit? Come up with a strategy and plan together. You should ensure that you are clear about your wants and needs and your attorney should be honest with you about the practicality and likelihood of achieving them.
Your lawyer will likely ask for records with respect to the treatment of your loved one and any and all events leading up to this point. Try to go into the meeting organized with copies of medical records and a rough calendar of what took place and when. Being organized and detailed about the facts will only help your lawyer help you.
Ask who will be handling your case. Is the senior partner meeting with you for the initial consultation only and later on a junior associate will actually be the one handling your case? You do not want anyone using your case as a training ground. It is okay to ask about that and make that clear.
Stay in touch
Since nursing home abuse cases can take a long time, possibly years to resolve, there may be long stretches when you do not hear from your attorney. Come up with a communication plan that makes you comfortable. Do you want to hear once per month even if nothing changes? Let your attorney know that.
Bringing suit against a nursing home that may have mistreated your loved one can be difficult for a number of reasons, but these guidelines should assist you in hiring someone who will work to get justice and not add to your already stressful experience.
Linden Law specializes in nursing home abuse cases and our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys can accompany you on your Journey to claim compensation for the abuse that your loved one has suffered due to nursing home abuse.