In the U.S., there are at least 500,000 reports of elder abuse every year, and at least half of these incidents occur in a nursing home. Unfortunately, these half a million reports include only those that are reported. It is estimated that thousands more elders are being abused and are too scared to speak up. If your elderly loved one has been abused in a nursing home, or suspect it is taking place, but do not have concrete proof, you should speak to a nursing home lawyer to find out what options you have available to you.
The statistics surrounding nursing home abuse are grim. Most nursing home lawyers do not take elder abuse lightly, and when they find such a horrible act going on at a facility, they are likely going to be determined to get justice for everyone involved. If your loved one is in the care of a nursing home, and is being neglected or abused, you may be able to recover compensation. Many elder abuse law firms have fought to protect the rights of elderly men and women and ensure that their dignity is preserved.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse or neglect in a nursing home is not always easy to spot. Often it can go on for months or years before realizing that something is not right. For this reason, as a family member of an elder loved one in a nursing home facility, it is essential to pay close attention to their behavior and physical characteristics.The signs of abuse are vast, but commonly include:
- Weight loss
- Bed sores
- Bruising on the wrists, chest, or legs from restraints
- Recurrent infections
- Overdosing on medication
- Broken bones
- Unexplained injuries
- Poor hygiene
- Bruising around the genitals or breasts
- Change in mood or behavior
- Excessive crying or outbursts
- + More
If your loved one exhibits anything that is not right, or staff try to convince you that your loved one does not wish to see you, it might be a good idea to consult a nursing home lawyer to find out what to do next.
Finding a Nursing Home and Employees Liable
It is possible for a nursing home to be found liable for injuries under a theory of negligence. This is because a nursing home has a duty to provide residents with:
- Reasonable care
- Safe and clean facilities
- Competent, knowledgeable staff
- Adequate treatment
- Confidence in knowing rules and policies are being adhered to
If a nursing home lawyer can show evidence that proved the facility had actual or constructive knowledge of any issue that caused harm, and failed to do anything about it, a claim may be filed against them. A facility might also be found liable when one of their employee engages in negligent acts within the scope of employment. If an employee failed to exercise reasonable care, or deliberately injures an elder, you may be able to seek monetary compensation.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse and negligence comes in many shapes and forms. Some common types include:
- Physical abuse by a staff member
- Resident to resident abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Gross neglect
- Financial exploitation
There is no excuses for elder abuse. Regardless of how much money or lawyers a nursing home company might have, justice should be served. Although a skilled law firm cannot turn back time, they might be able to help you recover monetary compensation for your losses.