It’s never easy to move a loved one into a nursing home, even when doing so is in their best interests. Taking care of an elderly parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or another relative is often too much for families to handle, especially when those loved ones have special care needs, and that’s why they turn to local nursing homes and care facilities.
But stories about nursing home residents being abused or neglected are often reported in the media, and that can make families wary. It justifiably raises many questions about the type of care their loved ones will receive. Unfortunately, elder abuse is common, with around 1 in 10 Americans ages 60 and up experiencing it, and that extends to nursing homes.
Our Lawyers Can Answer Your Questions
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, it’s our goal to help both nursing home residents and their loved ones thrive when living in care facilities and recover compensation if they’ve been mistreated. But above all, we want to prevent abuse and neglect, and that starts by giving families the information and answers they need to make informed decisions.
Here are five of the most common questions we’re asked about nursing home abuse and neglect:
Do abuse and neglect only happen in low-income or lower-tier facilities?
No, abuse and neglect can happen at any nursing home, whether it’s needs- and Medicaid-based, or it’s for high-income residents and families only. Ultimately, nursing homes want to make money, and because of that, all types of nursing homes may stretch caregivers too thin to provide adequate care, or they may hire inexperienced workers to care for residents.
What are the types of abuse?
There are four primary types of nursing home abuse:
- Physical abuse, such as hitting, striking, cutting, pushing, burning, or other forms of violence. This can be caretakers abusing residents, or residents abusing other residents without caretakers preventing it.
- Sexual abuse, such as groping, inappropriate touching, or rape.
- Emotional abuse, such as humiliating, threatening, belittling, ignoring, or shunning.
- Financial abuse, such as coercion, theft, and making changes to wills, estates, and other financial assets.
Are abuse and neglect obvious?
Although some forms of abuse and neglect are obvious, such as unexplained bruises, weight loss, dehydration, sexually transmitted diseases, and poor hygiene, many aren’t. For example, residents may suffer from emotional abuse that lasts for years and in turn affects their mental and physical health, but they may be unable or unwilling to discuss or report it. In addition, residents may be left alone in their rooms for hours or days at a time, but staff may appear engaging and interested in their care when visitors arrive.
What do I do if I suspect nursing home abuse or neglect?
First, speak to your loved one, if you’re able to do so. Be frank with them about your concerns, and ensure them that nothing bad will happen if they tell you the truth. If you believe your loved one’s health or wellbeing is at imminent risk, call 911. In other cases, bring up the issue to nursing home managers or administrators. You should also contact the Long-Term Care Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health to report the issue. Finally, contact an experienced Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyer that can begin protecting your loved one’s rights.
How can a lawyer help?
Having an experienced Oklahoma nursing home abuse lawyer on your side can be the turning point for your family’s experience with this tragic situation. First, a lawyer can work towards moving your loved one out of harm’s way, including helping them find a new, safe facility. Second, a lawyer will begin collecting evidence that proves your loved one was abused or neglected. And third, a lawyer will build a compensation claim for your family that will maximize your chances of getting the money you’re owed.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
Nursing home abuse and neglect are incredibly sensitive and private matters for families, and they can lead to intense feelings of guilt, anger, frustration, and shame. Our law firm understands how difficult these situations are, and we’ll do everything in our power to help your family move forward while getting the compensation you need for what your loved one suffered physically and emotionally. But most of all, our priority is ensuring your loved one is never again mistreated in a facility that’s supposed to care for them.
Contact us for a free consultation. There are no upfront fees to speak with us about what’s happening in your family’s lives, and there’s no charge unless we win your claim. Get the help you need—call today.