Nursing Home Abuse
The choice to put an aging loved one in an assisted living facility is never an easy one. If your relative is being abused or neglected, you may feel helpless and angry over the pain and suffering they have been subjected to.
When is a Nursing Home Liable for Abuse or Neglect?
If a nursing home is found to have acted negligently in the care of your loved one, there are several different ways they may be found liable.
Nursing home residents are due dignity, autonomy and respect. If these rights are breached, the nursing home may be liable and the family has the right to sue for damages.
Nursing homes are required to properly administer any necessary medications to the patient to ensure their continued health and safety. The facility may be responsible if they fail to do so.
In some instances, nursing home staff members are not properly trained to for work in the facility. This may mean they provide insufficient care to residents, which can lead to neglect, injury, or death.
If a nursing home does not have the resources to provide adequate staff for the facility, overworked employees can feel the effects of increased hours and demands on their work schedule. In turn, residents may receive unacceptable care, or none at all.
If a member of the facility’s staff is not thoroughly screened for criminal history or past abuse, the home may be liable for hiring the employee if they neglect or abuse a patient.
Nursing homes are also required to provide residents protection from injury by other residents. A third party responsibility claim holds the home liable when a patient is injured by an individual that is not employed by the facility while in its care.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
When you make the heart-wrenching decision to place your loved one in a nursing home, you have a reasonable expectation that they will be cared for and treated with dignity and respect. Sadly, this is not always the case.
Abuse and neglect can come in many forms, including:
This refers to harm done to the patient’s body. Physical abuse is not limited to battery, as it also refers to overmedication, the use of unnecessary force or restraints, and force feeding. This may include bedsores, bruises, scratches or other types of injuries associated with improper care and abuse.
This type of abuse covers a broad range of behaviors. Mental abuse may come in the form of manipulation, isolation, sarcasm, hurtful language, or insults. This is an extremely damaging type of abuse, as it is not only harmful to the patient’s mental wellbeing and self-esteem, but it can cause the patient to act against their own needs in the interest of keeping their caretaker happy.
One of the most disturbing forms of abuse is sexual abuse of the elderly. It can occur when a resident is forced or tricked into a sexual encounter, or when the resident is too ill to refuse. The resident may be completely unaware of what is taking place, or may feel too ashamed to admit it to a trusted person. Unwanted sexual contact can come from a staff member, a caretaker, or another resident.
When a resident’s funds are misappropriated, financial abuse has taken place. The person in charge of handling the resident’s finances may use the money for their own benefit or use it to pay fraudulent charges from the nursing home. Any financial abuse is grounds for a claim against the nursing home.
Neglect refers to the failure of a senior’s caretaker to provide them with the attention and the care expected from a person in their position. It can cause serious physical and emotional trauma to the patient, and the family has the right to sue if their loved one is neglected in an assisted living situation.
Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers for Help Today
Brandner Law Firm has the experience and compassion you deserve when fighting for the rights of your senior loved one. Nursing home abuse is an inexcusable and vile crime that should not be endured by any family. If you and your loved ones have suffered, take the first step toward justice today.
We offer FREE case reviews to victims, and never accept any up-front legal fees.