Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect & Negligence Attorneys – Elder Neglect
We Are Lawyers Protecting The Rights of Nursing Home Victims
Do you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, neglect or negligence? Our firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home victims. If a nursing home abuses your trust, it is not likely it will reveal the truth to you. You need and aggressive and experienced trial attorney to hold the nursing home accountable. Contact Karchmar & Lambert, P.C. today for immediate help. Get the justice and compensation YOU deserve!
We help people and families with these nursing home cases:
- Abuse resulting in death
- Accidents & injuries due to nursing home negligence
- Broken Bones
- Elder abuse
- Neglect – wandering off / desertion
- Physical abuse
- Pressure sores
- Restraint injuries
- Sexual abuse
Did you know that according to the centers for disease control as many a 1 in 10 nursing home residents suffer from bedsores. Bedsores are a potential sign of nursing home neglect.
What Is Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing home negligence occurs when a resident does not receive the proper care they deserve within the nursing home or elder care facility. This neglect can lead to serious physical, medical or emotional harm. When a staff member or medical care professional fails to provide adequate supervision and care, they put their residents at risk. These shortcomings can lead to physical abuse, emotional abuse, and in some cases – financial and sexual abuse and exploitation of the residents.
What Are Some Common Causes of Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home and elder care facilities are institutions. Neglect is often times caused due to staffing issues. These issues can include facilities being under staffed, facilities with staffing shortages, staff sicknesses, high turnover, and poor staff supervision. In addition negligence can occur from negligent maintenance of the premises, and negligent maintenance or poor selection of the residential equipment being used. You can learn more at The National Center on Elder Abuse.
What Are The Common Symptoms of Nursing Home Neglect?
Some signs of abuse and neglect can include:
- Bed sores
- Emotional Withdrawal
- Evidence of over medication or under medication
- Failure to regularly take medication
- Medication Errors
- Pressure Sores
- Refusal to be allowed to see the resident
- Resident dirty or un-bathed
- Signs of being restrained – marks on the ankles / wrists
- The care givers inability to explain the patient’s condition
- Threatening or belittling behavior by the staff that you witness
- Torn, stained, or bloody clothing
- Unexplained bleeding
- Unexplained broken bones, dislocations or sprains
- Unexplained bruises or welts
- Unexplained infections
- Unsafe living conditions
- Unsanitary bedding and clothes
- Weight loss
You can learn more about the symptoms of nursing home physical, emotional, and sexual abuse @ www.helpguide.org.
What Are My Rights & How Am I Protected In A Nursing Home Facility?
As a resident in a nursing home facility, you have rights and protections under state and federal laws to ensure that you get the care and are provided the services that you need.
These are some of your basic rights. You have the right to be treated with respect, the right to participate in activities, the right to be free of discrimination, the right to be free from abuse and neglect, the right to be free from restraints, the right to proper medical care, you have the right to be told about all nursing home services and fees, you have the right to manage your own finances or choose someone you trust to do this for you, you have the right to privacy, you have the right to your property and to have adequate living arrangements, you have the right to time to visit with visitors and guests, you have the right to social services including counseling, and you have the right to leave the facility if your health allows and your doctor agrees. You can learn more here.
What Are Your Nursing Home Rights In Illinois Under The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act?
You can read the entire act @ Nursing Home Care Act – the act includes skilled nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities.
Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect & Negligence – Causes, Signs, and Remedies
When an elderly person is placed in a nursing home, the nursing home has a duty to provide adequate care for and supervision of the person. Further, the nursing home has the obligation to screen its employees and monitor them to ensure that they are carrying out their jobs properly. When a nursing home fails in its obligations it can result in serious physical and psychological harm to those people who have been entrusted to its care.
What is nursing home abuse and how may it be detected?
Nursing home abuse occurs when an employee of the nursing home abuses an elderly resident either physically or psychologically. It could be the result of any number of things ranging from improper screening or training of staff to a shortage of employees that leads the staff to begin experiencing frustration with the residents. Abuse is generally a little bit easier to detect than neglect or negligence because it will frequently leave physical signs or result in telling emotional responses on the part of the elderly resident.
If an elderly resident begins displaying bruises, welts, or other unexplained signs of injury, it may be a sign of physical abuse. Even more telling is the behavior of a nursing home resident. If he or she suddenly exhibits a change in behavior or seems jumpy around certain members of the staff, it may be an indication that the resident is suffering abuse.
Other indicia could include sudden and unexplained mood swings, loss of appetite, or any new behavior for which there is no explanation. Remember that most of the elderly residents cannot just tell you that they are suffering from abuse—although if they do tell you this, you should certainly take the information seriously—so you will need to pay careful attention to the resident’s physical condition and demeanor, and pay close attention to any sudden unexplained changes.
Nursing Home Neglect and Negligence
In contrast, neglect and negligence can be more difficult to detect. These situations arise when the nursing home staff is not paying proper or adequate attention to the residents.
Negligence is when a member of the nursing home staff has a duty to act—or refrain from acting—and he or she fails to act and, as a result, a resident runs the risk of suffering harm. For example, if a nursing home employee is supposed to use a certain piece of equipment to keep residents from falling out of their chairs and fails to do so, negligence has occurred. Another example of negligence would be leaving a door unlocked when it should be locked and, consequently, residents are placed in danger.
Neglect is similar to negligence, except that neglect generally involves a duty to provide a certain level of care to a nursing home resident. If a nursing home employee fails to provide the generally accepted level of care in a given situation, it is neglect. An example is failing to check on a resident as frequently as the employee is supposed to.
Signs of negligence and neglect are often in the form of sudden unexplained injuries to elderly residents. For example, if a maintenance closet is left unlocked and a resident wanders in and injures himself (or herself) this would be a sign of negligence. Or, if a resident is left unsupervised for an extended period of time and ends up falling and being injured, this would be a sign of neglect.
Other signs of neglect include the development of injuries that result from a person being left in the same position for extended periods of time. Rashes, bedsores, and similar injuries are all evidence that the resident is suffering from neglect.
Causes of negligence and neglect can include improper staffing levels of the nursing home. If a given facility needs a certain number of employees to run properly, but the management only hires 80% of the needed workers, cases of negligence and neglect are likely to result.
Another cause is improper training of staff. Some nursing home employers may quite innocently engage in negligent activities (such as leaving certain doors unlocked) simply because they have not been trained on the matter. Likewise, they may accidentally engage in neglect (although this is less likely) because they were never trained on the frequency with which certain activities should be performed.
The remedies for abuse can range from civil liability to criminal charges. If you detect abuse you should immediately inform the appropriate authorities and take steps to protect the residents of the nursing home. Governmental agencies may impose fines on the nursing home, and the nursing home may also be subject to civil lawsuits on behalf of those abused.
In cases of negligence and neglect, the nursing home will likely be subject to civil liability. In particularly egregious cases criminal liability may be the outcome.
If you believe you have a loved one suffering from one of these conditions, contact us today. We would be happy to talk with you and help you explore your options.
GET THE CANNON!! Get the justice & compensation YOU deserve!
Do you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, neglect or negligence? Our firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home victims.
We take every case on a contingency fee basis – meaning you do not pay ANY attorneys’ fees unless we collect damages for you!
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