At The Richards Firm, we meet with plenty of families with serious concerns for the health and safety of their loved ones living in nursing homes. Nursing home facilities and the people they employ make a promise to protect and care for the overall wellbeing of your loved ones. That duty is crucial for your loved ones with declining physical and cognitive health.
As we age, we require more care and help from others to get us through our daily lives, and unfortunately, this makes our older loved ones more vulnerable to injuries and even death should they not receive the proper care. For some of our loved ones, they may not even realize they aren’t being cared for properly.
As someone with a loved one in the care of nursing home staff, it is important to stay vigilant and make periodic visits to the nursing home. Your visits are not only good for your loved one who enjoys visitors but also will help you create a relationship with nursing home staff, provide you with opportunities to ask questions and monitor for any signs of abuse or neglect.
In addition to many other questions, we are often asked what signs you can look for in your loved one to monitor for negligence. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions we are asked as a nursing home abuse lawyer in Hamilton Ohio.
What Are Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
When visiting a loved one in a nursing home, you should spend time connecting and enjoying each other’s company, but you should also be aware and keep an eye out for signs of abuse or negligence. These physical signs will often be your first clue that something may not be right in this particular nursing home setting. The most common sign of negligence include:
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Broken and fractured bones
- Bruises, burns, and welts on the skin
- Cuts, lacerations, and skin tears
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Fatigue, insomnia, or other sleep disorders
- Head and dental injuries
- Illness or infection
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
- Take note as soon as you begin to notice any of these signs in a nursing home resident.
Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Happen?
Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse happens. Some of the common reasons we see that lead to nursing home neglect and abuse include the following:
- Poorly qualified and inadequately trained staff
- Staff with a history of violence
- Inadequate numbers of staff
- Isolation of residents
- The known reluctance of residents to report abuse out of embarrassment or fear.
Are There Legal Ramifications for Acts of Abuse or Neglect in Nursing Homes?
Thankfully, there are legal ramifications for acts of abuse in nursing homes. An act of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an older person might give rise to one or all of the following proceedings:
- Investigation and finding by an adult protective services agency
- Civil cause of action for damages (a lawsuit)
- Criminal prosecution
These proceedings have different objectives. The objective of a protective services investigation is to investigate potential issues and provide immediate help and relief to the victim and prevent further harm. The goal of a civil action (lawsuit) is to pursue remedy for damages suffered. Criminal prosecution is meant to punish harmful and illegal conduct.
What Should I Do if I Suspect a Loved One is Being Neglected or Abused in a Nursing Home?
If you believe your loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence you should address your concerns immediately. For the safety of all residents, you can do this with the help of the police or a nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure your concerns are addressed. Accessing the help of authorities and a lawyer will ensure the offended are held accountable and your loved one is not only protected but pursue what they may be owed for potential damages.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
We hope the unknowns of the legal process never scare people away from filing a nursing home abuse claim. We strive to make this process as easy as possible for our clients by walking with them through every step of the process. A nursing home abuse settlement can take as little as a few months up to several years depending on the circumstances and whether legal action is necessary.
The good news is that we will work with you every step of the way. From you initial meeting, we will work with you to develop a game plan to investigate your case and pursue legal action should that become necessary.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
A nursing home abuse lawyer is going to be incredibly helpful in the process of investigating, evaluating, and pursuing a potential claim. In nursing home neglect cases, family members are often very emotional, and the legal process can be very technical. As a nursing home abuse law firm, we strive to protect and support our clients as well as represent and support them the best we can through all legal processing.
If you suspect a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you can’t afford to wait another day. Act now and give us a call at The Richards Firm.
We can be reached at 513-868-2731, ext. 219 or visit us at http://richardsinjuryfirm.com.