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.
Maryland: (410) 484-1111
Toll free: (866) 697-0013
25 Hooks Ln #302
Baltimore, Maryland 21208
Evening and Weekend Appointments, always available
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.