Placing a loved one in the care of a nursing home facility is a significant and oftentimes necessary decision. When you select the nursing home for your loved one, you’ve entrusted his or her safety and well-being with the home and its caretakers. Unfortunately, there are countless cases in which nursing homes violate that trust, and neglect or abuse takes place. Nursing home abuse or neglect is never acceptable, and it often happens when the facility has not properly screened, trained, or supervised staff.
Nursing home abuse can take many forms
Abuse in nursing homes isn’t just limited to physical or sexual abuse. Neglect or abuse can also be when caretakers fail to provide essentials for patients, such as not giving them proper food portions or keeping up their hygienic practices. Another type of neglect or abuse is failing to administer the correct dosage of medication, which can lead to serious medical problems. Nursing home abuse can also take the form of mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. Isolating a patient for too long or forgetting about them also constitutes neglect.
Identifying the signs
It’s often the case that victims of nursing home abuse do not disclose that they’re experiencing it, because they feel uncomfortable or afraid. There are signs to look out for. Physical signs include bruises, cuts, dirty hair, or poor hygiene. It’s also a good idea to monitor for changes in behavior or mood, including irritability, tension, or worry. Take note of the space your loved one is in since a dirty or disorganized environment is often a sign of abuse.
Taking legal action
Under the law, nursing homes can be held liable for neglect or abuse that their staff or caretakers have inflicted on patients. They can be held accountable for failing to fully screen and supervise caretakers and any abuse that took place. With the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney, patients and their family members can claim damages resulting from the abuse, such as medical and medication expenses, pain and suffering, or emotional distress. If you suspect or know your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, enlisting an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure your loved one receives the compensation they deserve. At Ginnis & Krathen, P.A., we have a team of attorneys who can help. If you’re ready to take action for your loved one, contact us today for a free consultation.