Many families have no choice but to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facility. When a resident suffers from abusive treatment, identifying the warning signs and acting is essential. Abuse takes many forms and often does not present with apparent bruises or broken bones. Neglect, for example, is common and can include short staffing or rationing of care.
Sadly, physical abuse of nursing home residents is all too common. It may result from caregivers using excessive force or striking their patients, or it can include improper restraint injuries such as bruising, fractures, and deep abrasions. Emotional abuse in nursing homes involves verbal threats, intimidation, humiliation, or isolation that robs residents of their dignity and confidence. It can also involve a pattern of neglect or exploitation of financial resources, including theft, forgery, and even changing a patient’s will or legal documents. Nursing home abuse attorneys can help victims of these heinous crimes navigate the legal system to receive justice and compensation. Their tireless advocacy for the rights and dignity of elderly individuals also helps prevent future abuse.
A skilled nursing home abuse lawyer can help victims seek justice for emotional abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when a caregiver causes a resident pain, distress, or anxiety through verbal or non-verbal actions. This can include yelling, belittling, humiliating, or isolating the victim. A good lawyer can help victims navigate alternative dispute resolution options such as mediation or arbitration. They can also work to obtain the maximum compensation for the victim’s losses. It is important to note that all forms of abuse must be reported. This will not only help to ensure your loved one’s safety but also allow the facility to be held accountable for their misconduct. Every state has Adult Protective Services agencies and long-term care ombudspersons who can help report concerns.
If your loved one is a nursing home resident, watching for changes in their behavior or anything that does not seem right is essential. If your instincts tell you something is wrong, do not disregard these warning signs and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. Financial abuse involves manipulating an older adult’s money and credit. For example, an abuser might open lines of credit without the victim’s permission or steal funds from them by gambling away their earnings or allowing someone else to use their credit card without their knowledge. Other forms of financial abuse include scams, a refusal to pay bills or loans, and stonewalling. Abuse victims are also robbed of their dignity and independence when denied access to their money.
Abuse in nursing homes can have a significant impact on victims’ lives. They may suffer physical harm, emotional distress, and even death. A qualified attorney could help their family claim compensation for the harm caused by the abuse and seek to prevent it from happening again. Staff members may become frustrated and verbally or physically lash out at residents. This type of abuse is called bullying and can be a form of discrimination. Residents at risk of elopement due to inadequate security measures or supervision could be injured or killed when they leave the facility. A qualified lawyer could file a lawsuit against the nursing home for neglecting these vulnerable individuals. They could also use pre-trial discovery strategies to obtain relevant evidence for the case.
Placing a family member in a nursing home can be difficult and emotional. Families carefully research facilities and trust them to care for their loved ones. Unfortunately, abuse and mistakes can occur, including physical and emotional harm and financial exploitation. Sadly, incidents often go unreported due to a lack of communication or fear of retaliation from staff. However, a nursing home abuse lawyer can help victims and their families by ensuring that incidents are reported, and justice is served. They can also provide support, guidance, and compensation. Additionally, they play a critical role in ensuring that nursing homes comply with regulations and laws.