When you trust your loved one’s safety and health to a nursing home, you should expect the utmost compassion and respect. But, it doesn’t always happen so. You will be heartbroken to know the extent of abuse and neglect from the care providers at a nursing home. It refers to the conditions when the residents of the facility are not provided proper care, and they sustain an injury due to improper supervision or utter neglect.
Families spend a lot of money on elderly care. If you find faults in the services, it’s time to contact a personal injury attorney to take the right actions against them.
What are the Signs of Physical Abuse at a Nursing Home?
In long-term residential facilities, elderly residents may undergo physical and emotional abuse. It can harm them physically, emotionally, and financially. The main culprits in these cases are the staff members or other residents at the facility.
If you notice any one or more of these physical signs in your family member staying at the center, take appropriate actions immediately.
- If there are bruises anywhere on the body
- Sudden and excessive loss of weight
- Abnormal changes in complexion
- Dirt or apparent signs of neglect in the room or on the body like lice or fleas
- Welts, cuts, or open wounds
- Broken stuff or torn clothing
- Bed source or poor hygienic conditions
- Urine or fecal odors
Many of these warning signs may go unnoticed, even by the family members. Whenever you have any suspicion, don’t hesitate to ask questions and check the facilities provided to your loved ones.
Also, look for sudden changes in mood and behavior as they can indicate a serious underlying problem. Sometimes, the wrong medication can bring about severe changes in their behavior or cause significant health problems down the road. Neglecting these signs and not consulting a personal injury attorney can cause more damage.
What are the Basic Rights of People Staying at Nursing homes?
The residents, under the care of nursing home facilities, have specific rights under the law. It is essential to treat them with respect and provide complete privacy they deserve. Also, decisions regarding their services, medical care, and money will rest on the residents or their families.
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 assures proper regulations in each state to protect these rights.
- The right to access and visitation by the family members, physician, advocate, service providers, or federal/ state government representatives.
- Adapting the rules according to the individual needs and healthcare conditions of each resident.
- Maintaining confidentiality and safety of clinical and personal records.
- Providing access to benefits under Medicare and Medicaid.
- The choice to select the physician, participate in their treatment planning, and get information about medical care
- Right to complain about neglect or abuse without getting punished
- Free from any physical abuse, including drugs, restraints, or punishments
- Participation in social and community activities without interfering with the rights of other residents at the facility
- Reviewing their medical records within a day after making such request
- Right to get a notice before the change of their room or roommate
How to Fight Against Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
If you notice any physical signs, emotional trauma, or infringement of rights, you can take legal action against it. The facility will try to deflect your claims and prove their innocence.
Hence, your personal injury attorney will interview the witnesses, former employees, or other residents about the changes in your loved one’s conditions. A lawyer can also review the inspection reports and survey records of the facility to find evidence of past violations.
Depending on their findings and an attempt to settle the dispute, the attorney can file a lawsuit to recover the monetary losses and get justice for the victim.