Sometimes nursing home caregivers or staff members fail to treat their patients with dignity and respect. Nursing home staff negligence can be difficult to recognize and is often covered up by nursing home staff. Our lawyers are familiar with all the rules and regulations governing the quality of care in nursing home institutions.
Nursing homes are designed to provide a high level of care for those who are aged, ill, and unable to care for themselves. Nursing homes are so essential for elderly persons and their families that there are nearly 16,000 nursing home throughout the country offering more than 1.7 million beds for residents.
But while nursing homes are designed to keep elderly and sick persons safe and provide them with the treatment they need for the highest quality of life possible, things do not always play out this way. Indeed, nursing home abuse and negligence is more common than anyone would like to think, and countless residents suffer harm every year in Alabama and throughout the country as a result.
If you believe that a loved one of yours is a victim of nursing home abuse or negligence, it is critical that you act quickly. Not only should you report the abuse immediately, but you should also call our Alabama nursing home abuse attorneys at the office of Taylor Martino, P.C. to learn more about your family’s options for bringing forth a civil action to recover damages for harm.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence
Nursing home abuse and negligence can take many different forms. These include:
Physical abuse. Physical abuse occurs when force is used against an elderly person in a way that is inappropriate and causes bodily harm, impairment, or physical pain. Types of physical abuse include hitting, pinching, aggressively restraining, slapping, shaking, force feeding, shoving, and using drugs inappropriately.
Emotional abuse. Emotional abuse, or psychological abuse, occurs when a caretaker in a nursing home inflicts mental pain or anguish on a nursing home resident. For example, refusing to allow the resident to participate in social activities, harassing the resident, humiliating or teasing the elderly person, threatening the elderly person, and more are all signs of emotional abuse.
Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is not only extremely immoral and cause for a civil lawsuit, but may warrant criminal charges as well. Sexual abuse includes any type of non-consensual sexual activity, such as photographing an elderly person while naked, rape or sexual assault, molestation, etc.
Financial exploitation. Financial abuse of an elderly person may also occur, which happens when a nursing home caregiver uses their position and power over the resident to gain control of their finances, resulting in the elderly person changing their will or estate plan, or the caregiver stealing credit cards, cash, etc. from the elderly person.
Neglect and abandonment. In some cases, abuse may take a more passive form: neglect or abandonment. When an elderly person is neglected, they may not receive the healthcare they need, may not receive help with personal hygiene, may suffer a deterioration of medical condition, and may otherwise not have their basic needs met.
Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Recognizing nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult, especially if your elderly loved one is suffering from a medical condition that already has a number of psychological and physical side effects, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. If your loved one is in a nursing home, you should keep an eye out for the signs of nursing home abuse, including changes to financial circumstances, withdrawal from friends and family, depression or aggressive tendencies, poor hygiene, bruises or lacerations, torn or bloodied garments, and any other unexplained injuries or changes to the resident’s condition or state of mind.
Nursing Home Abuse IS Medical Malpractice
If your loved on is being abused in a nursing home or nursing facility, you have a cause of action. Nursing homes and their staff have a duty to provide residents with a high standard of care, and must meet the medical standard of care – that is, the standard of care that another doctor/nurse/medical professional in the same situation would exercise. In the event that this standard of care is breached, the nursing home may be guilty of medical malpractice, and can be held liable for harm incurred by the patient as such.
If you suspect that nursing home abuse is taking place, you should take action immediately to:
Report your concerns to a nursing home supervisor/manager;
Report the abuse to the appropriate agency in Alabama, including Alabama Adult Protective Services, Alabama Department of Senior Services, Alabama Medicaid Agency, or/and Alabama Office of the Attorney General – Family Protection Unit;
Call the police to report the abuse if you believe that the elderly person is at risk of imminent bodily harm; and
Contact an attorney who can assist you in investigating the abuse and bringing forth a civil action.
An attorney can help you to bring forth a claim to recover compensation for all harm suffered, including punitive damages, pain and suffering, and costs of medical care. A civil action is not only an opportunity to gain compensation for a victim of a nursing home abuse and neglect, but also to raise awareness about the dangers of a particular nursing home, and hold negligent parties liable for their actions.
No One Deserves to Be Abused or Neglected
No one deserves to be abused or neglected, least of all those parties who are elderly, ill, and unable to care for themselves and are relying on others to provide care for them. At the law offices of Taylor Martino, P.C., we are horrified by stories of nursing home abuse, and angered that abuse and neglect occur at such an alarming rate.
If you suspect that abuse or neglect of your elderly loved on in a nursing home is occurring, we want to meet with you as soon as possible. We will dig deep to gather the evidence necessary to prove abuse, and hold the nursing home and responsible parties liable for harm.
We work on a 100 percent contingency fee basis, which means that you will never pay us a cent for our services unless your case is successful. All of our work begins with a free case consultation where we explain to you our process and your options.
If you suspect nursing home abuse, contact our compassionate nursing home abuse attorneys by calling our law offices today. Reach us now at 251-433-3131. We will work hard for you to make sure your loved one’s rights are protected.