Nursing Home Negligence

MARYLAND NURSING HOME ABUSE LAWYER

Do not take your loved one’s nursing care for granted.

There is an alarming rate of preventable ‘incidents’ in nursing homes and assisted care facilities throughout the country. The rate of incidents which has a direct impact on your loved ones has been increasing over the past several years as health facilities try to make themselves as profitable as possible at the expense of proper care for their patients. We are dedicated to helping the victims of negligence, neglect, abuse and wrongful death.

Before deciding on a facility be sure to visit several times unannounced and inspect for cleanliness on the floors, proper smelling facility, observe how other residents are being treated, dressed, groomed and fed. Inquire about the number of registered nurses and certified nursing assistants per floor during the day and evening versus the number residents. Nursing homes should be researched on the Internet for violations, one such site can be accessed at: www.fdhc.state.fl.us/nurhome/index.html.

Nursing home abuse can range from unreasonable and/or illegal physical contact, sexual contact or outright hitting, slapping, pushing, etc. of a resident by an employee.

Nursing home neglect can range from the deprivation of food or water to the failure to provide medication on a timely basis, or failure to be removed from bed or taken to the bathroom or failure to responding to calls for assistance. Many of these conditions can lead to very serious and life threatening conditions for loved ones if not recognized and corrected immediately.

Be sure to speak with the resident on a continual basis and listen to what they say. Significant weight loss, poor hygiene, complaints of pain from conditions or lack of medications, depression, lethargy, lack of interest, bead soars are all signs of problems which should be taken very seriously.

If you have questions or concerns regarding a nursing home or a condition which has arisen in your family, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss the matter. We will be happy to help you sort through the problem and there is no charge for the consultation.

Contact us online, or email or call 443-279-2027/866-697-0013 for an immediate consultation.


Contact Us:

Maryland: (410) 484-1111
Toll free: (866) 697-0013

25 Hooks Ln #302
Baltimore, Maryland 21208

Evening and Weekend Appointments, always available
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average nursing home reports between 100 and 200 falls each year. Falls can cause serious injury to elderly individuals, and sometimes falls can even be fatal for this vulnerable population. In additional to physical injuries, falls may also result in emotional or mental injury as well. Fall victims may face functional decline or a reduced quality of life due to increased fear, depression, feelings of isolation, or feelings of helplessness. While falling can be a sign of some type of health problem, it may also be a sign of abuse or neglect. Falls that occur due to the abuse or neglect of nursing home staff are revolting, and those responsible for an elderly fall victim’s injuries should be held accountable for their abhorrent actions.

Because elderly individuals are more fragile and susceptible to injury, falls often result in fractures or broken bones. These fractures can sometimes cause significant health problems as they may require surgery, become infected, or fail to heal properly. An injury such as a fracture can severely compromise the health and quality of life of an elderly nursing home resident. When a fall resulting in a fracture occurs due to insufficient supervision or an improperly trained staff, the nursing home may be held accountable for the elderly individual’s injuries. Both non-injurious and injurious falls should be reported to the proper nursing home staff. If families feel that nursing home staff are not adequately addressing their concerns, families may wish to consult with an attorney for legal assistance. The health and well-being of the family’s elderly loved one may hang in the balance.

Nursing home residents have the right to live in a safe environment where their daily needs are met in a timely manner. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nursing home residents may be forced to do things for themselves because nursing home staff is not available to assist them or refuses to assist them. When these elderly individuals attempt to take care of themselves, they may fall from their beds, chairs, or wheelchairs. In some cases, these individuals may lie injured on the floor for hours before being assisted by nursing home staff. Families that entrust the care of their loved one to a nursing home should not accept this kind of treatment. In these cases, a skilled attorney can be of invaluable assistance.

Dehydration and malnutrition are common problems that many elderly individuals face, whether residing in an institution or living at home. Because an elderly individual’s sense of taste and thirst response are often diminished, these individuals many times fail to recognize their need for food and water. Dehydration and malnutrition can lead to serious health complications; therefore, recognizing dehydration and malnutrition in elderly individuals is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, recognizing dehydration and malnutrition in elderly individuals can be difficult, especially if the individual already has a significant illness or disability. However, for those individuals residing in institutions such as nursing homes, professional caregivers should be able to identify and treat both dehydration and malnutrition in a timely manner.

When elderly individuals living in a nursing home are suffering from dehydration or malnutrition, this could be a sign of nursing home abuse or neglect. Due to the fact that those employed by nursing homes are professionals, these individuals should be able to readily recognize potentially life-threatening problems such as dehydration and malnutrition. Failure to recognize or treat these problems can be classified as abuse. In some cases, nursing home staff may be responsible for the elderly individual’s dehydration or malnutrition. Nursing home staff may fail to properly care for the nutritional needs of the individual, thereby depriving them of the food and water they require. Whatever the circumstances through which the dehydration or malnutrition developed, nursing home staff may be held responsible for the abuse or neglect of the elderly individual.

Families that have placed a loved one in an institution such as a nursing home will want to observe their loved one for signs of dehydration or malnutrition. These signs include: confusion, disorientation, low-grade fever, irritability, constipation, dry skin, bowel blockage, low urine output, and tachycardia. If dehydration and malnutrition are not treated in a timely manner, the affected individual could face serious health complications such as stroke, renal failure, or even death. Families that believe their loved one is suffering from dehydration or malnutrition due to nursing home abuse or neglect may wish to retain the services of an experienced attorney. An attorney can held individuals ensure their loved one gets the proper care and justice they need and deserve.

When the families of elderly nursing home residents suspect that their loved ones are being abused, there are several options available to them. However, families should be aware that some of these remedies may be more profitable than others. The steps to rectifying abusive nursing home situations do not have to be taken in order. Several steps may be taken at one time, and this may be one of the best ways to ensure that abusive behaviors by nursing home staff are stopped and corrected. Ways to combat nursing home abuse include frequent visits, speaking with nursing home staff, filing a complaint with state licensing and certification, and contacting an attorney. By taking these measures, families can make certain that their elderly loved one receives the proper care and attention they need.

Frequent visits at various times on different days can help families better evaluate the level of care their loved one is receiving. Visiting the nursing home during morning, afternoon, and evening hours on weekdays, weekends, and holidays can help families determine if their loved one is receiving adequate care on a 24 hour, 7 day per week basis. If families feel that their loved one is not receiving the necessary care, they should speak with nursing home staff. Families will want to communicate with not only nurses and aides but with the nursing home administrator, social worker, and the director of nurses. Additionally, families will want to consult with their loved one’s doctor to better ascertain the level of care being provided to their loved one.

Filing a complaint with state licensing and certification should also be undertaken when families suspect their loved one is being abused by nursing home staff. State licensing and certification will investigate the complaint and take the appropriate actions as necessary. One of the most helpful steps an abuse victim’s family can take is hiring the services of an attorney. An attorney can be of invaluable assistance throughout all stages of the investigation process. They may help with filing a complaint, and they may wish to interview nursing home staff to determine if the family’s loved one has been the victim of abuse. If warranted, an attorney can file a lawsuit against the nursing home in an effort to obtain compensation for the abuse suffered by the family’s loved one.

When an elderly individual living in a nursing home is subjected to any form of assault, this individual has become the victim of abuse. There are no circumstances under which assault is ever appropriate when dealing with elderly nursing home patients. Unfortunately, overworked, stressed, poorly trained, and underpaid staff often times resort to this type of abuse in order to get their job done. Due to fear of retaliation or an illness or disability, the elderly victim may fail or be unable to report these abusive behaviors. Family members may fail to recognize the signs of abuse that their loved one may be exhibiting. It is important that family members understand what constitutes assault and abuse in order to ensure their loved one is properly cared for while living in a nursing home.

There are three types of assault: physical, sexual, and verbal. By definition, a physical assault is the threat of bodily harm accompanied by the ability or capacity to actually cause said harm. An assault can arise simply from the apprehension of harm and reasonable fear of injury. For example, when a threat of harm is verbally communicated and combined with a raised fist, this act causes reasonable apprehension of harm and evidences the ability to carry out harm. Aggravated assault is more serious than assault. The intent to kill or rape are elements of aggravated assault. Sexual assault includes acts such as rape, attempted rape, unwanted sexual contact, or unwanted sexual threats. Sexual assault is often carried out through threats of violence, coercion, or manipulation. Verbal assault occurs when an individual calls another individual names, degrades them, screams at them, berates them, or humiliates them. Any type of assault can be extremely devastating to the victim.

When elderly individual in a nursing home have unexplained physical injuries, exhibit unusual behaviors, or appear fearful or withdrawn, concerned family members should begin asking questions. In some cases, families may discover that their loved one is being abused and possibly assaulted by nursing home staff. If a situation such as this occurs, the elderly individual will need the representation of a qualified and talented attorney. Nursing home abuse is a serious issue and one that should be dealt with promptly and swiftly. By being informed and aware, families can ensure the safety, care, and protection of their elderly loved one.

When an individual experiences an untimely death due to the negligent actions of another party, the individual’s death is said to be a wrongful death. Actions are considered negligent when a party fails to protect another individual from foreseeable risks of harm as any reasonable person should do. There are two elements that must be met in order for a death to be considered wrongful. First, the individual’s death must have been caused, either in whole or in part, by the actions or conduct of another party. Second, the negligent party must be able to be held strictly liable for the individual’s death. Strict liability means that regardless of the negligent party’s culpability or fault, they may be held responsible for the loss or death caused by his or her actions. When a wrongful death occurs in a nursing home, the facility and its staff may be held accountable for the elderly individual’s death.

A wrongful death in a nursing home may result from things such as serious infections, medication errors, falls, unsanitary or unsafe living conditions, failure to provide for an individual’s basic needs, or lack of appropriate or adequate supervision. Families that place their elderly loved one in a nursing home expect that their loved one receive the proper care and supervision they need and deserve. Instead, their loved one may experience an unexpected death at the hands of negligent caregivers. When a wrongful death occurs in a nursing home, the victim’s family should pursue legal action. One of the first steps that the victim’s family should take is contacting a skilled and experienced attorney. Those responsible for the elderly individual’s death should be held liable for their actions.

A wrongful death can sometimes go unnoticed, and this may be especially true in the case of the wrongful death of an elderly individual. Individuals placed in nursing facilities may already be experiencing health problems and a diminished quality of life. However, an individual’s failing or compromised health may not always explain their sudden death. When a death is unexpected or occurs under suspect circumstances, victim’s families should press for a thorough investigation into their loved one’s death. Without a comprehensive investigation, an individual’s death may go unreported. An attorney familiar with wrongful death cases can be of invaluable assistance and should be retained by the family as soon after the victim’s death as possible.

When elderly individuals wander from or leave the nursing care facility in which they are placed, the results can be catastrophic, even fatal. In many cases, those that wander from the facility in which they are placed are suffering from some type of confusion or dementia. This only exacerbates the problem. These individuals may become scared and feel helpless as they realize they are alone, but they may be unable to adequately communicate their needs to others. Elderly nursing home residents that wander from their facility may suffer injuries from falls or their wandering may result in death due to things such as heat stroke or hypothermia. Those that wander from or leave the facility in which they reside place themselves in seriously life-threatening situations without even realizing the gravity of their circumstances.

According to federal nursing home regulations, all nursing home residents must be assessed upon admission to the facility. The assessment is to include a written plan of care, which should be updated regularly. A main purpose of a written plan of care is to determine the elderly individual’s ability to function independently. Those that are deemed incapable of functioning independently should be given the proper supervision they require. This is especially true for when these individuals are outside of the facility. Nursing homes should have appropriate devices in place and sufficient staff to prevent high-risk individuals from leaving the facility. If the nursing home fails to properly supervise or monitor these individuals or have proper prevention devices in place, the nursing home could be held responsible for any injuries suffered by the individual as a result of wandering from the facility.

There are several safety precautions that nursing homes can take to prevent elderly patients from wandering. By placing an adequate number of staff to supervise high-risk residents, elderly wandering may be prevented. Individuals prone to wandering could be placed in room closer to the nurses station. Alarms or bells may be placed on the doors of such individuals in order to alert staff of potential wandering. The doors of the section of the nursing home in which high-risk individuals are housed should be locked and secured. Security cameras or security guards may also help prevent wandering. If nursing homes have not taken the appropriate steps to protect high-risk individuals from wandering and an injury or death occurs, the families of these individuals should contact an attorney for assistance.

Also known as pressure sores and decubitus ulcers, bedsores typically afflict bedridden individuals that are not properly repositioned. Bedsores are types of skin ulcerations that generally affect areas with bony prominences. The location of the bedsore on the individual’s body will depend on the position of the individual. For example, the areas in which bedsores may occur include the heels, lower back, tailbone, hip bone, knees, shoulder, ankles, or head. The location of the bedsore and its severity will depend on the position of the individual and how often the individual is properly repositioned. In some cases, bedsores will develop on individuals that sit for prolonged periods of time without being repositioned, and bedsores that develop on these individuals can be quite severe.

When bedsores occur on elderly individuals residing in nursing homes, this could be an indication that the elderly individual is not receiving proper care and supervision. Nursing home residents should be assessed periodically to determine their risk of developing a bedsore. Those elderly individuals that are considered at-risk should be bathed appropriately and nursing home staff should monitor the individual’s nutrition and hydration. Furthermore, support devices should be used when appropriate, and nursing home staff should ensure both appropriate postural alignment and proper distribution of weight when repositioning the individual. By taking these steps and others, nursing home staff can help prevent the development of bedsores on immobile individuals.

If the family of an elderly loved one in a nursing home notices bedsores, they should take immediate action to rectify the situation. Bedsores can present a significant health risk to nursing home residents; therefore, these skin ulcerations should not be taken lightly. Bedsores should be reported to the nursing home staff, and in some cases these health problems may need to be reported to the proper authorities. Since bedsores can be indicative or abuse or neglect, its essential that problems such as bedsores be thoroughly investigated to determine if they were the result of abuse. If an elderly individual has suffered a bedsore due to abuse or neglect, the elderly individual’s family may wish to contact an attorney for assistance.

It is important that those responsible for abuse or neglect be held responsible for their reprehensible actions. Bedsores are just one of the common signs that can indicate abuse, and there may be other physical, emotional, or behavioral signs of which families will want to be aware.

In general, the elderly population is more prone to injuries and ailments than their younger counterparts. However, with adequate and proper care, many injuries and ailments can be prevented or successfully treated with little adverse impact to the individual’s health. Even though some elderly individuals are required to live in institutions such as nursing homes, the prevention and treatment of injuries and ailments should be extended to these individuals as well. Simply because an elderly individual requires around-the-clock care does not necessarily mean that an expectation exists that their health will decline rapidly. In fact, in some cases, when the health of an elderly individual living in a nursing home declines rapidly, the cause of this decline may be the result of nursing home abuse or neglect.

It is an unfortunate fact that a number of elderly individuals residing in nursing homes have become the victims of nursing home abuse or neglect. Due to this abuse or neglect, the elderly individual may have suffered a physical, emotional, or mental injury or ailment. Injuries or ailments that may arise a result of improper physical, emotional, or medical care include osteoporosis, pneumonia, angina, heart attack, gastrointestinal disorders, urinary incontinence, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, and behavior problems. Abused or neglected individuals may experience injuries such as broken bones, abrasions, head injuries, or bed sores. Fear, agitation, crying, and withdrawal may also symptoms of nursing home abuse or neglect. In many cases, it is possible that these injuries and ailments could have been avoided if proper care had been given.

When elderly individuals are injured or become sick as the result of nursing home abuse or neglect, they need an attorney that will make their best interests a top priority. Those responsible for this reprehensible behavior should be held accountable in order to ensure justice for the victim and to put an end to this illegal behavior. Nursing homes should be sanctuaries of care for both the elderly individual and their families. If the family of an elderly loved one in an institution such as nursing home believes that their loved one’s injuries or ailments are the result of abuse or neglect, they should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help the elderly individual and their family make certain that they obtain any compensation to which they may be entitled for the abuse or neglect suffered in the nursing home.

When families entrust the health and well-being of their loved one to an institution such as a nursing home, they do so with the belief that their elderly loved one will be in capable hands. Unfortunately, there are instances in which the family’s loved one will experience unnecessary pain and suffering at the hands of their trust professional caregivers. Nursing home neglect can sometimes remain hidden from family members; therefore, families must remain alert and diligent to ensure their loved one is cared for properly. When families suspect that their elderly loved one is being neglected, they should contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Nursing home neglect can seriously adversely impact the general health of their elderly loved one and can even lead to death.

As mentioned previously, nursing home neglect can remain hidden. For this reason, it is important for families to understand and be able to recognize the signs of nursing home neglect. Nursing home neglect can take several forms, and being aware of its various forms can help families make certain their loved one does not fall victim to this sinister behavior. Nursing home neglect includes physical neglect, basic needs neglect, medical neglect, and emotional neglect. Some of the common signs of neglect include but are not limited to: bedsores, painful blisters, abrasions, poor hygiene, dehydration, malnourishment, over-medication, unsafe living conditions, thirst, dry skin, weakness, unexplained weight loss, and soiled bedding.

Emotional neglect is not evidenced by any outward signs such as physical, basic need, and medical neglect may be manifested. However, families may become aware of unusual behaviors that could indicate emotional neglect. If the family’s loved one becomes withdrawn or depressed, emotional neglect may be occurring. Elderly nursing home patients require emotional support and encouragement as does anyone else. When staff is too stressed or overburdened to properly communicate or care for the needs of the elderly, the elderly may experience emotional neglect. Emotional neglect can be extremely damaging to the elderly patients health. When elderly nursing home patients become the victims of neglect, they need an experienced and capable attorney on their side.

Families that are aware of or suspect nursing home neglect should not hesitate to report their concerns to the proper authorities. In addition, victims of neglect may be entitled to compensation; therefore, having the services of a skilled attorney to represent the victim in cases such as these will be imperative.

If a nursing home resident suffers restraint injuries or strangulation, family members should request a thorough and comprehensive investigation as soon as possible. These types of injuries are generally consistent with nursing home abuse. While these types of injuries may not always be contributed to abuse, the potential exists that the injury or strangulation occurred because restraints were used improperly. When restraint injuries or strangulation occur due to abuse within an institution such as a nursing home, these injuries need to be reported immediately. Corrective action should be taken as quickly as possible, and the family of the victim may wish to consult with an attorney for legal advice and guidance. In order to ensure the safety of the family’s loved one and others within the nursing home facility, abuse should not be overlooked.

Nursing home staff may use restraints in order to prevent nursing home patients from injuring themselves or others. There are two basic types of restraints that may be utilized: physical restraints or medications. Restraint injuries occur when excessive force is used in applying physical restraints. These types of injuries may include broken bones, head injuries, or internal bleeding. In some cases, the improper or excessive use of restraints can be fatal. According to federal regulations, restraints may only be used to ensure the physical safety of the elderly individual or those around them. Additionally, the use of restraints may only be used under the written order of a physician. The individual’s physician will specify the circumstances under which the restraint may be used, the duration of restraint, and the type of restraint.

If nursing home staff are not properly trained or fail to adequately supervise elderly patients that are being restrained, the use of restraints can sometimes be fatal. The improper use of restraints can result in strangulation. In fact, many may be surprised to learn that alarming number of elderly individuals that die each year as a result of restraint strangulation. The improper use of restraints, whether or not it results in strangulation, is a direct violation of federal regulation and is considered nursing home abuse. Family members of nursing home patients that have been subjected to improper physical restraints or that have suffered strangulation will require the legal assistance of a skilled and capable attorney.

Proving the occurrence of nursing home abuse or neglect can sometimes be complicated. Families often encounter difficult and stubborn obstacles when attempting to obtain evidence of abuse or neglect or establishing its existence. Nursing home staff and the elderly individual’s doctor may less than forthcoming with vital information, and families efforts to demonstrate abuse or neglect are oftentimes frustrated. While there are several avenues that families have to report suspected abuse or neglect, these avenues sometimes yield little or unsatisfactory results. Due to these facts, it is generally in the best interests of the family and their elderly loved one to retain the legal expertise of an experienced and skilled attorney. An attorney will be able to provide the family with the sound legal counsel and guidance they need.

Families typically lack the time and resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation regarding nursing home abuse. They may desire to find the evidence necessary to establish abuse, but due to other obligations, such as work, they may be unable to devote the time necessary to do so. An elderly individual’s abusers will not make it easy for the family to acquire the evidence they need. Therefore, having an attorney that can conduct a comprehensive investigation will be an invaluable resource for the family. An attorney, acting on behalf of the patient and family, can access medical records, interview potential witnesses, and uncover prior reports of nursing home abuse against the facility. A lawyer can work with the investigating agency to determine the type and extent of abuse or neglect to which the elderly individual was subjected.

While hiring an attorney in a nursing home abuse case is not required, it is highly recommended. If abuse or neglect is established, the victim and their family may be entitled to monetary compensation. A skilled and capable attorney can help victim’s and their families ensure that they receive adequate remuneration. Families should be aware that the nursing home facility and its representative will attempt to settle with the victim for as little as possible. However, there are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when determining a fair settlement. An attorney can assist families with this settlement amount in order to ensure the proper care of their loved one for years to come. Families that are considering filing a complaint for suspected nursing home abuse will want to seriously consider hiring an attorney for assistance.

Nursing home abuse of the elderly is inexcusable and unjustifiable. Families of nursing home abuse victims have several avenues that they may pursue when they suspect or obtain evidence that their loved one is being abused. One of those avenues is to make a complaint. However, many families are not sure where or how to make a complaint for abuse. There are several various state health agencies tasked with investigating nursing home abuse, and the responsible agencies can vary from state to state. Determining which agency with which to file the complaint will be the first step in the process. In most states, a complaint may be filed with one of these agencies: Adult Protection Services (APS), the county Social Services department, the Area Agency on Aging, or the local State of Health Licensing or Certification office.

If families determine that a complaint needs to be filed, they need to make certain that they include all necessary information in the compliant. In order for the investigating agency to thoroughly examine the complaint, all relevant information should be covered in the complaint. Nursing home abuse complaints should include the name of the family member(s) filing the complaint and their contact information such as address, telephone number, and email address. Indicating the family member’s relationship to the victim will also be important. Additional information that should be listed in the complaint includes the victim’s name, medical condition, details and time line of alleged abuse, and any pertinent medical records. If the elderly individual is deceased, it will be crucial to include a copy of the autopsy in the complaint.

The complaint process can sometimes be complicated, especially if the family is unfamiliar with the process. For this reason, families may wish to retain the services of an experienced attorney to provide assistance. An attorney can help families ensure that all necessary and required information is submitted to the proper agency. By enlisting the help of an attorney, families can help make certain that the investigation is not delayed and that as much direction as possible is given to the investigating agency. Even though filing a complaint may seem like an arduous process, it is essential that families of abuse victims file a complaint in order to obtain justice for their loved one and perhaps prevent the future abuse of other elderly nursing home residents.

When most people hear the phrase sexual abuse, this term likely conjures up images of young children being preyed upon by depraved adults. However, young children are not the only age group vulnerable to sexual attacks by adults, many times their own caregivers. Elderly individuals are also susceptible to sexual abuse because of their fragile physical, mental, and emotional states. This may be especially true of those elderly individuals living in residential facilities such as nursing homes. In many cases, those responsible for adult sexual abuse in nursing homes are those entrusted to provide care and treatment to the elderly individual. There have been many instances in which nursing home staff have been found guilty of committing adult sexual abuse against elderly nursing home residents.

There are several signs of adult sexual abuse of which family members will want to be aware. These signs include unexplained difficulty walking or sitting, vaginal or anal bleeding, genital infections, irritations, or injuries. Bruising in areas such as the inner thighs, genitals, buttocks, and or breasts may also be indicative of sexual abuse. Additionally, stained or bloody underclothing, bloody sheets, or rope burns are commonly associated with adult sexual abuse. If the elderly individual becomes fearful of or combative toward a particular staff member or other resident, the elderly individual may be acting out in self-defense. Behaviors such as these should not be minimized but investigated to ensure that the elderly individual is not being mistreated in any way.

If families suspect that their loved one is being sexually abused, these concerns should be expressed immediately. An investigation into the possible sexual abuse of the elderly individual should be initiated at once. In addition to requesting an investigation, families may also wish to hire an attorney for assistance. An attorney can help the family make certain that a comprehensive investigation is completed and that all parties responsible for the abuse are held accountable. Sexual abuse can have dire consequences for the victim, and reprehensible actions such as these should not be allowed to continue. When families need assistance with a sexual abuse case such as this, they should not hesitate to contact an attorney for legal guidance and advice. An attorney will work diligently to guarantee that those responsible for the abuse are held accountable and that justice is obtained for the family’s elderly loved one.

As some individuals age, their faculties may decline and their ability to care for themselves may be compromised. Because of their fragility, inability to think clearly, and mental or physical ailments, elderly individuals may become targets of abuse. Overwhelmed or unscrupulous caregivers may take advantage of elderly individuals that are unable to stand up and fight for or protect themselves. When caregivers, especially professional caregivers in facilities such as nursing homes, cause harm to an elderly individual in some substantial way, this caregiver may be guilty of committing elder abuse. Families of elderly individuals residing in nursing homes should be aware of the signs of elder abuse and know how to report suspected abuse or neglect.

Elder abuse includes things such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, and healthcare fraud. Signs of these various types of elder abuse include frequent arguments between the elderly individual and their caregiver as well as any peculiar changes in the elderly individual’s personality or behavior. While these signs could be indicative of some type of mental or physical decline, they should not be regarded as such without further investigation. Additional signs of elder abuse include unexplained physical injuries, a caregiver’s refusal to allow family to be alone with the patient, unusual weight loss, unsafe living conditions, suspicious changes in the elderly individual’s will, odd financial activity, and evidence of undermedication or overmedication. These are just a few of the evidences that elder abuse may be taking place.

Abuse of the elderly is illegal and morally unjustifiable. Taking advantage of those that are vulnerable and susceptible is a heinous offense to society, and those responsible for such grievous actions should be held accountable. Families that suspect their loved one is suffering any form of elder abuse at the hands of their caregivers should contact the proper authorities immediately. In addition, families may also wish to retain the services of a capable attorney. An attorney can help families ensure that those responsible for elder abuse are held liable for their actions. Through a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation, an attorney can assist families in identifying all parties responsible for their loved one’s abuse or neglect. When caregivers break a family’s trust by abusing or neglecting their elderly loved one, the family should seek both justice and financial compensation on behalf of the elder abuse victim.

Mental and verbal abuse can be just a damaging to an elderly individual’s health as physical abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, mental and verbal abuse occur in nursing homes where elderly individuals have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Because nursing home staff is often overworked, underpaid, and inadequately trained, elderly nursing home residents do not receive the appropriate attention and care they need and deserve. Mental and verbal abuse can take several forms, and the effects of this type of abuse can manifest in a number of different ways. Family members should take care to note any changes in the physical, mental, and emotional health of their elderly loved one. Concerns in regard to any declines or changes should be discussed with nursing home staff immediately.

The follow actions are considered mental and verbal abuse: verbal threats, verbal degradation, emotional manipulation, emotional threats, and isolation. Elderly individuals residing in a nursing home may live in constant fear due to verbal threats made by nursing home staff. These individuals may be reluctant to report verbal threats for fear of retaliation. Verbal degradation occurs when staff yells or screams at an elderly individual or makes insulting or sarcastic remarks about the elderly individual. Because of nursing home resident’s dependence on staff, these individuals can be easily manipulated. Elderly residents may experience decreased self-esteem, which can then be exploited by nursing home staff. Emotional abuse occurs when elderly individuals are afraid to speak out against abuse they have experienced or witnesses. Fear of further abuse keeps them from reporting abusive behavior by staff. Staff may sometimes isolate an individual from social activities, friends, or family.

Whatever the form, mental or verbal abuse of nursing home patients cannot be justified. Family members should encourage their loved one to report any type of abuse that may be occurring within the facility. When mental or verbal abuse is suspected, families should report their suspicions to the proper authorities immediately. In addition, families may wish to retain the services of an attorney to represent their elderly loved one. An attorney will make the elderly individual’s best interests his or her top priority. Both mental and verbal abuse can have a devastating impact on the lives of those elderly individuals affected by this type of abuse. Those responsible for this type of abuse need to be stopped before they can cause harm to more victims.

What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?

According to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, those individuals residing in nursing homes have the right to live in an environment that is conducive to either the improvement or maintenance of both their physical and mental health. When the environment of a nursing home fails to meet these requirements, the individual residing in the nursing home may be the victim of nursing home abuse. Nursing home abuse can take several forms, and elderly abuse victims may be unable or unwilling to communicate the type of abuse they are experiencing at the hands of their caregivers. Nursing home abuse can be physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, or medical abuse. Neglect is a form of abuse that elderly individual may experience while living in an institution such as a nursing home as well.

If an elderly individual living in a nursing home is intentionally caused harm or pain by those employed by the nursing home, the elderly individual may be the victim of nursing home abuse. Intentional harm or pain may include things such as physical or sexual attacks, rough handling, cursing or threatening, corporal punishment, seclusion, or other forms of substandard care. Substandard care can lead to bed sores, depression, malnourishment or dehydration, and other physical, mental, or emotional ailments. Families may oftentimes be unaware of the abuse their elderly one is suffering; therefore, it is imperative that families understand what constitutes nursing home abuse and the sign commonly associated with abuse.

Elderly individuals are often afraid to report abuse due to fear of retaliation by their caregivers or they are unable to report abusive behavior due to an illness or disability. For these reasons, it is extremely important that the families of these vulnerable and susceptible individuals understand those actions and behaviors that comprise abuse. When families either suspect or have evidence their elderly loved one is being abused, they need to report this information to the proper authorities. In addition, families will want to retain the services of a skilled nursing home abuse attorney to represent their loved one. Nursing home abuse may be more prevalent than most would like to believe, and families have to make certain their loved one is receiving the proper care and treatment they deserve.

Signs of Abuse to Look For

Instances of nursing home abuse have become more prevalent in recent years, and families of elderly nursing home patients need to be aware of the common signs of nursing home abuse. In many cases, the elderly victim fails to report the abuse due to embarrassment or fear of retaliation by their abuser. Sometimes the elderly victim suffers from a serious disability or illness that hinders their ability to report abusive behavior. For these reasons, families cannot rely solely on the information provided by their elderly loved one to establish whether or not abuse is occurring in the nursing home. If an elderly loved one can and does report abuse, the family needs to take immediate action to stop these illegal actions and protect the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their elderly loved one.

There are several signs of which families should be aware that may be indicative of nursing home abuse. Physical injuries, neglect, and emotional or behavioral changes are strong indicators of nursing home abuse. Physical injuries include things such as bed sores, broken bones, bruises, head injuries, overdose of medication, or any other type of unexplained injury or physical state. Soiled bed linens, poor hygiene, dehydration, or malnourishment are all signs of neglect, which is a form of abuse. Elderly abuse victims may exhibit emotional or behavior changes that include things such as agitation, fear, withdrawal, crying, or complaints about poor treatment by nursing home staff. Any recognized signs of abuse should be taken seriously, and should be reported to the proper authorities. In addition, nursing home abuse victims should have skilled and experienced legal representation.

Other signs of abuse that families of nursing home residents will want to be aware include things such as the refusal of staff to allow the family to see their loved one or unexplained delays regarding family visits with their loved one. Nursing home staff that are abusing an elderly patient may not allow the family to be alone with their loved one. The family may notice that a deep-seated tension is present or that frequent arguments occur between the nursing home staff and their loved one. If this type of behavior is occurring, it could indicate that a family's loved one is indeed the victim of nursing home abuse. When nursing home abuse is either suspected or confirmed, a lawyer should be contacted as soon as possible.

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