Nursing home neglect is disturbingly common today. As our population ages, elder care facilities are in greater demand, and regulatory agencies often don’t have the funds or the personnel to properly oversee their activities.
The condition of many nursing home residents makes them particularly vulnerable and often unable to reliably recount their abuse at the hands of their caregivers. Because of these factors, nursing home abuse can sometimes go unreported or unrecognized.
It’s essential, though, that the loved ones of nursing home residents ensure their safety and well-being by watching closely for signs of abuse and neglect. Our investigations often reveal and uncover acts of negligence, abuse, exploitation, or mistreatment of a resident. Unfortunately, these acts of neglect can result in a family member suffering severe injury, pain, infection, financial loss, and sometimes death. Cases of nursing home negligence or abuse often include the following:
- Wounds, bed sores, pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers
- Medication errors
- Infection and sepsis
- Falls and fractures
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Unsanitary conditions and poor hygiene
- Psychological, verbal or mental abuse
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Improper use of restraints
- Financial exploitation
- Doctor or nursing negligence
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence, there are several steps you should take.
FIRST – Have your attorney send a letter to the facility to request that all evidence and records are preserved and immediately obtain a copy of all available records. CONTACT A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY BEFORE CRITICAL RECORDS ARE LOST OR DESTROYED FOREVER. By the time you have realized that something is wrong, it is possible that the records kept at the facility may have already been destroyed.
SECOND – Get the patient to a new facility. It is imperative that your loved one begins receiving the care he or she needs as soon as possible.
You need to know right away whether Medicare or Medicaid are involved. Depending upon the level of care your loved one was receiving, there are differing regulations and laws which apply to maintaining records and reporting requirements.
Keep your own records with dates and notes about the situation.
THIRD – Contact the authorities in your state and alert them to the situation. Make notes about your contact with the authorities and keep a copy of the report they provide to you. The website www.eldercare.gov provides a comprehensive list of the proper authorities for each state in the country.
FOURTH – Hiring an experienced legal team is essential to investigate, gather evidence, and present the case against a nursing home. We understand that nursing home residents are extremely vulnerable. We will fight for the rights of you and your loved ones.