Elder abuse, which may be physical, emotional, sexual, or financially negligent in nature, is among the most underreported types of violence in the United States. Those who have been placed in nursing homes are totally dependent on their caretakers. Many don’t have the mental capacity to report abuse, and those that do are often afraid that they will be retaliated against. They are completely dependent on the facility for their food, medicine, and shelter, which often scares them out of telling anyone.
Nursing homes are frequently understaffed. Many have lax hiring practices and employ under-qualified caretakers. Nursing home occupancy will stretch further past capacity as the American population over the age of 65 continues to grow, increasing the likelihood of abusive situations.
Elder abuse is difficult to detect. Often times, the elder is unable to adequately communicate abuse, so nonverbal warning signs must be assessed. Warning signs of nursing home abuse include the following:
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are preventable if proper and preventative care is taken by nursing home staff. When a resident spends an extended amount of time in one position, there is substantial risk of developing bedsores. For many nursing home residents, assistance is required to reposition themselves in their beds and chairs. When inadequate training is provided or insufficient staff is available, bedsores often result.
Bedsores can be a clear indication that something is wrong. This skin condition is caused by resident immobility and can signal that your loved one is suffering at the hands of inattentive or abusive caregivers. Medical complications involving seniors can be costly. If the medical professionals or facility administers are at fault for your loved one’s condition, the law empowers you to seek compensation. Call the nursing home abuse attorneys at Amerio Law Firm at (916) 419-1111 if you loved one has developed bed sores while staying in a care facility.
Slip and fall accidents are a common cause of injury for many nursing home residents. In some cases, the fall was unavoidable. However, some falls are the result of inattentive or negligent caregivers. Injuries to the elderly can be particularly dangerous because of their advanced age and fragility. Recovery could mean paying for a mountain of medical bills.
These conditions can, in some cases, result from a nursing home’s negligence. When a facility is understaffed or provides inadequate training, its workers may lack the ability or means to properly monitor the eating and drinking habits of their residents who often require assistance with these tasks. We all need the proper nutrients and vitamins that come from a well-balanced diet to stay physically and mentally strong, fight off sickness, and maintain an overall healthy life. As we get older, our bodies need these nutrients more than ever. Unfortunately, malnutrition is a serious problem in nursing homes across the nation. Malnutrition occurs when residents are not getting enough food or not getting the types of food rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to meet the recommended daily values for people their age.
Further signs can be exhibited by tension between the elder and the caregiver or a change in the elder’s personality, behavior or disposition. Physical warning signs can also be present, often in the form of unexplained bruises on the elder’s body, scratches or cuts, or even drowsiness, chapped lips, or a vacant stare due to over medication. Signs of neglect can be exhibited by poor hygiene, uncut and dirty finger and toenails, bed sores, or unexplained weight loss. Call the nursing home abuse attorneys at Amerio Law Firm at (916) 419-1111 if you suspect a loved has been the victim of abuse.
The following conditions may also be grounds for filing a nursing home abuse claim against a facility:
Nursing homes have an obligation to their residents to hire staff members who are properly qualified, have the appropriate education for the position for which they are hired, and have no record of abuse or violence. Nursing homes put their residents at risk and are responsible if background checks are not completed prior to hiring employees.
Nursing homes are notorious for cutting corners by not hiring sufficient staff members in an attempt to save money. When nursing homes fail to employ a reasonable amount of staff members, residents are often neglected.
Additionally, understaffing causes more work for staff members who may not be compensated properly for their work, often causing a loss of morale and compassion. Nursing homes can be found liable if a resident suffers an injury as a result of the failure to have an adequate number of caretakers.
Since nursing homes have a duty to provide a safe environment for the residents, they can be held responsible for any abuse caused by third parties within the residence. For example, if a resident is injured by another resident or a guest of another resident, the nursing home can be found liable if they adequate security was not provided to prevent such an incident.
Nursing homes can be held accountable when inadequate training of their staff leads to the injury of a patient. In some cases, nursing home employees are not provided with proper training to handle disabled or disobedient residents. In these particular cases, the level of care required by law and is not met. Nursing homes can ultimately be held accountable when inadequate training of their staff leads to the injury of a patient.
Nursing home residents can suffer if they aren’t provided the correct dosage of medication at the right time. If the resident is injured by a prescription drug error, the physician, pharmacy, or pharmacist can be held accountable.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect, abuse, or negligence, our nursing home abuse attorneys can help. Contact Amerio Law Firm from your free case evaluation at (916) 419-1111.