Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
November 13th, 2019|
Does your loved one live in a nursing home? If so, you may be worried about their well-being, especially if they have serious disabilities or medical conditions that require frequent treatments and constant supervision. Unfortunately, receiving adequate care isn’t always a given, and some residents are outright abused or neglected by staff members at the nursing homes where they live.
The causes of abuse and neglect are complicated, and every case differs. However, one common factor in many cases is nursing homes prioritizing their profits over the safety and comfort of their residents. Nursing homes often have dozens, if not hundreds, of residents. Caring for all those residents, many of whom may have serious health problems, requires large teams of highly trained personnel.
To save money and maximize profits, some nursing homes intentionally understaff, forcing small teams to care for huge numbers of residents. Others may hire underqualified employees in order to pay them less money. When nursing homes cut corners on their hiring practices, resident care always suffers—and it can even make them more vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
Do You Know the Types of Abuse and Neglect?
It’s important to always be on the lookout for signs that your loved one isn’t receiving the care they deserve in the nursing home. It’s also important to check for signs of abuse or neglect, which can occur without warning and without prior history—even after years of living in the same facility.
Common forms of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse—When another person, whether it’s a nursing home staff member or another resident, touches your loved one in an unwanted manner, it can be considered physical abuse. Common types of physical abuse include shoving, kicking, pushing, punching, slapping, or even biting. The signs of physical abuse are often easily detected, but they may be hidden under clothing.
- Sexual abuse—Sexual abuse can refer to acts of both unwanted physical and unwanted non-physical contact between staff members and residents. It includes sexual harassment, assault, fondling, and rape. In addition to suffering psychological damage, residents who are sexually abused are at risk of genital injuries and even sexually transmitted diseases.
- Psychological abuse—Mental abuse occurs when residents are insulted, yelled at, humiliated, threatened, intimidated, or secluded by staff members. This type of abuse is often difficult to detect, as it typically only occurs when family members and other staff members aren’t around to witness or overhear it.
- Financial abuse—This type of abuse refers to any illegal, unauthorized, improper, or unwanted use of a resident’s financial resources or assets. It can range from petty theft of personal belongings to fraudulent changes of financial documents and even living wills.
Common forms of nursing home neglect include:
- Restricted access to everyday essentials—Like everyone else, nursing home residents need access to food, water, clean clothing, clean and adequate bedding, hygiene products, and medication. Staff members may deny residents these essentials or fail to provide them, and when they do, it can be considered neglect.
- Abandonment—When nursing home residents are left alone in their rooms for long periods of time, they may be victims of abandonment. This type of neglect can also occur when residents are left in nursing home common areas or even in public without any way of getting back to their rooms on their own.
The sooner you act after forming a suspicion of any of these types of nursing home abuse or neglect, the better. In addition to helping prevent your loved one from suffering additional mistreatment, it may also open the possibility for more evidence to be collected that proves your loved one was abused or neglected while living in the nursing home.
Our Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Are Ready to Help
Nursing homes are aware of the potential for abuse and neglect accusations. Even when there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that staff members mistreated residents, nursing homes are often quick to deny them, and they’re even more reluctant to pay residents and their family members compensation for what they’ve been through. That’s why having an experienced law firm on your side is so important.
At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our legal team can build a strong claim that the nursing home can’t ignore. We’ll collect evidence that shows your loved one was mistreated and had their rights violated, and we’ll calculate exactly how much money your family is owed. Then, we’ll fight to help you get every penny. Contact us today for a free consultation.