When we hear about nursing home abuse, we typically think of incidents where senior citizens have suffered neglect of any kind. However, the elderly are not the only victims. Many families find that their loved ones suffer from serious injuries or worse because of neglect and negligent care.
Many factors can lead to neglect in the hospice. The signs may be easier to spot in some cases than in others.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Here is the classification of maltreatment in these institutions or facilities that can overlap in certain instances.
You must identify and report these types of abuse that can often lead to injury or even death. You may safeguard and protect your loved one and other patients from future violence by doing so.
Indications you need to spot if your loved one is a victim of neglect or mistreatment:
Evident manifestations of this particular mistreatment include bruises, broken bones, and other injuries. Some warning signs that your loved one is experiencing this kind of neglect are if they appear in pain or seem afraid to say where they were injured. You may notice unexplained marks on their body.
The following are the types of physical mistreatment that a nursing home abuse legal counsel can help you fight:
Neglectful caregivers can fail to monitor their residents or move people into unsafe areas that increase the risk of falls, including showers and bathtubs. In other cases, workers might provide medical treatment that makes falls more likely such as prescribing sedatives without consulting a doctor first.
Injuries Due to Restraints
Despite evidence that drugs are sometimes safer than restraints, many nurses use both measures when patients become combative or agitated. Because medical constraints can cause skin tears, bruising, and nerve damage, this puts all residents at risk of injury if not applied correctly and under the right circumstances.
Pelvic fractures are a common occurrence in patients who have been abused or neglected. These injuries generally occur from falling either repeatedly or with enough force to cause a fracture. While not all pelvic fractures are certain signs of abuse, they can be one of many indicators that things are not right.
Poor care leads to severe pressure on the patient’s skin for lengthy periods, preventing blood flow to specific areas, resulting in pressure sores. Over time, this causes the lower layers of the skin to break down, which leaves victims open to infection making it easier for germs to enter their bloodstream. In an assisted living facility for elders, neglect victims are especially at risk for pressure sores because they cannot move their bodies independently very easily without someone helping them.
Hip fractures are also among the most common types of hospital injuries that happen when patients fall. Still, older people who suffer hip fractures often receive much worse care than those who become injured elsewhere.
Patients who break hips due to ill-treatment or neglect can face months or even years in pain while they wait to heal completely; this puts them at increased risk for developing further complications.
Cuts and Bruises
Nurses and other workers should never hit residents. However, it can still occur in some cases if nurses don’t receive the proper training to restrain residents who become combative or unruly In other cases, workers might become frustrated with their jobs and lash out towards patients, which can cause bruising or cuts that require medical attention.
Other warning signs include unexplained injuries, which never seem to heal right away.. Infections are also possible if someone isn’t regularly receiving the proper care for their injuries.
Neglectful hospice staff may also allow patients’ skin to develop pressure ulcers because they failed to provide them with the proper supplies such as padding or clothing changes when necessary.
Over time, this can result in chronic pain, infections, and irreversible damage to some victims; if they cannot receive surgery quickly enough for their wounds.
Decline in Hygiene
An unusually messy room or clothes that seem unclean might be signs of neglect. Your loved one’s items might be damaged or missing, like dentures or glasses. They may not bathe regularly, and their hair could appear unkempt and dirty even though you’ve never seen them like this before.
People experiencing neglect often lose interest in their physical appearance, which is a warning sign that something isn’t right with at the eldercare facility where they should be receiving due care.
Sudden Decline in Health or Weight Loss
Nurses who ignore their patients can fail to provide proper nutrition they need to maintain their health. If you notice your family member losing a significant amount of weight within a short period, this could be another sign of harm. They may also suffer from bedsores or other infections that arise because they’re not getting proper care.
Unusual Withdrawal from Social Situations
Although it is sometimes normal for someone to withdraw from family and friends after entering a nursing care facility, this may be a sign of deeper issues. If your loved one suddenly seems less interested in family events or visiting with friends, this could be a sign there’s a problem.
Sudden Changes in Mood or Behavior
If you’ve noticed significant changes in your loved one’s behavior, this could indicate a problem. You might see some signs of them becoming more aggressive, less responsive to conversation, or they may say strange things that are very out of character. Notify someone of these changes right away so you can ensure your loved one is safe.
Stand up to Abuse: Signs You Need to Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
History of Abuse or Neglect in the Facility
If there have been past complaints made about the care your loved one is receiving, hiring a counselor-at-law who specializes in personal injury law may be the best thing to help get justice for your family member. The same will apply if someone has died because they didn’t receive proper care at this particular facility.
Deteriorated Memory and Cognitive Skills
They might seem confused more often than usual; they might forget things like the day, getting dressed or cooking meals, and other daily tasks. Several factors can cause this type of behavior.
If you’re worried that your loved one might already be experiencing some of these signs, hire a nursing home abuse lawyer who specializes in this area of the law and get the legal help you need today.
Most of the time, if your loved one has been the victim of violence in the hospice, they may stop exhibiting these types of behaviors once you bring them to a new facility for better care.
Institutions like these often try to cover up reports of neglect because they want to avoid lawsuits; this means that family members need the help of professional legal counsel to ensure all claims register on time. You must address any problems that are going on right away and ensure their safety before it’s too late.
What Are The Elements Of A Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
There are four (4) elements that you must prove to prevail on this legal action:
- The defendant(s) was a person responsible for the care and supervision of the victim.
- The defendant broke the law by failing to provide reasonable care, which resulted in harm or injury to the plaintiff.
- Such breach of duty approximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Victim sustained damages as a result of such injuries.
In other words, you will have to prove all four elements for your case to be successful. To be successful in a nursing home abuse lawsuit, you, together with your injury lawyer, must confirm each element by a prevalence of the evidence, which must be greater than 50% guilt based on credible evidence.
Also, the laws that regulate the eldercare facility expect to protect residents from neglect and any other type of harm they may face in facilities. Still, neglect lawyers are also necessary to hold perpetrators accountable for their misdeeds. A legal representative can review the details of a specific case with their clients, gather evidence, and file lawsuits against negligent said care institutions to seek justice on behalf of victims and their families.
How to prove a Neglect Case?
Every case is unique because it involves the individual circumstances of the victim, their family, and the facility where they were hurt. And there are no set rules for neglect cases; some injury lawyers may require more information than others before accepting clients.
It is crucial to work with legal representatives specializing in neglect occurring in retirement care facilities that are accessible and willing to answer questions about the process. Hence, victims can make informed decisions throughout their case.
How Can I Pay for a Lawyer?
Their services should never cost victims any money because they work to recover compensation on their client’s behalf. Many personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid for their time if they win a settlement or verdict from the defendant at the end of the case. There are some cases in which victims may cover legal fees with help from third-party funding companies that provide immediate cash without requiring an upfront cost.
Don’t wait to start your claim for damages if you believe you may be the victim of neglect in one of these facilities. A lawsuit takes time, be sure to work with an accredited lawyer early on to get compensation as soon as possible and ensure that any sort of abuse is not occurring.