A Guide to Nursing Home Abuse: Understanding All Types of Neglect
There are plenty of reasons individuals decide to turn to nursing homes to help care for their loved ones. Whether they are too busy to provide proper care or they’re dealing with their own health issues, it’s often understandable that help is needed sometimes to really give an elderly loved one the attention they deserve.
While we may try to do our research and choose the right nursing home for our loved one, there are some issues that may arise, and we may be unaware of negative situations in the facility, including the presence of nursing home abuse and neglect.
For you as a family member of a nursing home resident, it’s important to understand the various forms of neglect and abuse that may exist. Here are some of the problems that may occur, what signs and symptoms you can look for to determine liability, and what rights you and your family may have to take legal action against the nursing home for any injuries caused.
Nursing home abuse is typically found in numerous forms, including the following:
To learn more about these types of nursing home abuse, continue reading below.
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When people think of physical abuse in a nursing home, it’s easy for the mind to wander directly to physical contact between a member of the staff or someone else at the facility and your loved one. However, it is actually in reference to any action that can cause physical harm to the elderly, including allowing a fall risk to try and walk on their own.
Physical abuse comes in a number of different forms, including failure to aid when the elderly needs to get up, ignoring turn schedules, and more. These actions can cause physical impairment or harm to the elderly and will be seen as negligence.
In order to recognize potential signs of physical abuse, the most obvious factor to consider is any bruising on your loved one’s body. Also, bed sores can be an indicator that their turn schedule is being ignored by the staff.
Any time you notice a sign of physical abuse, it’s important to report the situation. This allows the proper authorities to investigate and determine if someone is acting in a manner that causes your loved one pain.
Just because the damage isn’t done physically doesn’t mean it doesn’t negatively impact your loved one. Mental abuse is a real problem and it can occur in a number of different ways, including through intimidation and verbal abuse.
Typically, with intimidation, it involves a staff member, visiting doctor, or even another resident who threatens the elderly individual with physical harm. They may try to do something and say that if the person reports them, they will cause physical harm.
Similarly, if verbal abuse exists, it can cause a significant mental impact on the elderly. This can include someone calling the resident names, talking down to them, and more. This verbal abuse can be just as impactful as physical harm, resulting in trauma in a number of instances.
When an elderly individual is a resident in a nursing home, there are various tasks that the staff must perform in order to ensure the proper care is given. This includes providing the necessary meals to the residents and failure to do so can be dangerous to the individual’s health.
This is a situation in which the resident is malnourished, creating significant health problems and can even be fatal if it persists for an extended period of time. This is considered a form of nursing home abuse and your family can take action against the staff or owner.
Many of those in nursing homes require extensive attention for one reason or another. They may be bed ridden and need to be turned regularly, or they could be a fall risk and need help getting out of bed to go to the restroom, or even be on a set time schedule when they need medication.
When the staff fails to properly provide care when it is needed, avoids the call signal, or ignores specific needs or requests, it can be considered neglect. As a result, the elderly may suffer serious harm or the lack of medication can be detrimental to their health.
It's important for the staff at the nursing home to pay close attention to the needs of the elderly. If the needs are neglected, it can result in a situation such as a slip and fall or another accident, which may lead to serious injuries.
What You and Your Family Can Do Moving Forward
If you recognize that there’s something wrong in the nursing home and your loved one has been a victim of some sort of abuse, it can be difficult to process what comes next. Understand, though, that you have specific rights moving forward to help right the wrongs your loved one may have experienced as a result of nursing home abuse.
The nursing home may be negligent and there are multiple parties who may be considered responsible:
- A staff member: The staff members are the ones who are typically responsible for the day-to-day interactions and care of the residents. If they cause harm physically or emotionally, or if they fail to provide the proper care for the resident, the staff member can be considered responsible for all harm caused.
- The owner of the facility: In some situations, the owner who hired the negligent staff can be considered negligent. These situations can include if the owner did not properly screen the staff members, if they fail to reprimand or terminate someone who has a history of abuse, or in any way contribute to the abuse.
- Another resident: The nursing home must ensure that residents are safe. Unfortunately, there are also residents who may act in a manner that causes others physical or mental harm. The resident may be considered responsible when they are abusive.
At The Gatti Law Firm, we are committed to representing the individuals who have been harmed as a result of nursing home abuse. We understand that the elderly must be properly cared for and when they’re not, it can be a serious problem that results in physical or mental harm done to the elderly.
We believe that everyone deserves the most honest, caring, and integrity-driven representation as possible and that is what our firm strives to provide. This is especially true during what is often a very stressful and difficult time.
With our Oregon nursing home abuse lawyers, you can feel confident knowing that we’re willing to go the extra mile and never back down from the competition when it comes to your rights. Trust us to advocate on behalf of you and your family when you need us the most.
Call our firm today at (503) 543-1114 and discuss your potential case with our team. We’re ready to help you hold the negligent party accountable and not just pursue compensation on your behalf, but pursue the justice you deserve.