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Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

The decision to place a loved one in a long-term care facility can be emotionally painful and is often based upon the expectation that the nursing home or assisted living facility will provide a safe, engaging environment and the level of care that your loved one requires.

Your loved one does not surrender his or her right to protection from abuse or neglect after entering a nursing home or assisted living facility.  People’s basic rights and dignity should never be ignored simply because they have need of others’ help with the activities of daily life.  The elderly may have a limited ability to communicate, so family members must monitor their loved ones’ care and look for any potential signs of abuse or neglect.

A recent government study found that 85 percent of nursing homes reported at least one incidence of abuse or neglect in 2012.  Unfortunately these numbers are probably higher, the Office of the Inspector General said that nursing homes only reported 53 percent of the allegations leveled at them in 2012.  Other statistics found 1 in 3 elderly residents as a victim of abuse.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is defined as intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable elder by a caregiver or other person who stands in a trust relationship to the elder.  This includes failure by a caregiver to satisfy the elder’s basic needs or to protect the elder from harm.

Types of nursing home abuse and neglect may include:

  • Assault and battery (including kicking, slapping, pinching, pushing, shaking, beating, threats and verbal or emotional abuse)
  • Lack of care for existing medical problems
  • Prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water
  • Rape or other forms of sexual assault or battery
  • Unreasonable physical restraint or seclusion
  • Use of a physical or chemical restraint or psychotropic medication for any purpose not consistent with that authorized by a physician

Other obvious signs may include:

  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Open wounds, bed sores or cuts
  • Burns and abrasions
  • Sudden and unexplained change in weight
  • Soiling, poor hygiene, smell of urine or feces
  • Infections
  • Loss of hair
  • Torn, stained, or bloody clothing or bedding

Less obvious signs may include:

  • Listlessness or unresponsiveness
  • Infantile or other strange behaviors
  • Physical or emotional withdrawal
  • Disappearance of personal items
  • Sudden and unusual financial transactions

Thousands of nursing home residents are injured or die each year because of nursing home neglect.  SL Chapman is dedicated to providing information and legal representation to the victims of nursing home neglect and abuse and their families.

If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected or abused, follow these important steps:

  • Know the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Know and remember your rights
  • Obtain, gather and document as much information as possible
  • Notify the proper authorities
  • If appropriate mover your loved one to a different facility
  • Consult with a nursing home neglect and abuse attorney

You need a qualified and experienced attorney to review your case.  Our nursing home attorneys will get the records and review them to find out exactly what happened.  If neglect or abuse caused a serious injury or death, we will file your nursing home wrongful death lawsuit.

A qualified nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer can also be of great help when filing a complaint against a facility and getting justice for the one you love.  Building a strong case may require consulting with medical professionals, reviewing nursing home paperwork, or conducting interviews, which all may be too much for one person or family to handle.  An experienced nursing home abuse attorney at SL Chapman will help you build an effective case if you decide to pursue legal action against a facility or its staff.  Contact our office today at 800-550-2106 for a free initial legal consultation.