When a loved one lives in a nursing home, assisted living, or long-term care facility, you count on the staff to provide appropriate care and respect their dignity. Unfortunately, many facilities and their employees fail to live up to such reasonable expectations.
If you suspect a loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse, you must take immediate action. A Phenix City nursing home abuse lawyer could help you make decisions that protect your loved one. Reach out to a committed personal injury attorney at Bence Law Firm LLC to hold the offending facility accountable.
Be Vigilant in Protecting A Loved One
Family members often are responsible for ensuring an older adult gets adequate care in a nursing home. Many residents of these facilities lack the capacity to advocate for themselves.
The federal government has published a resident’s bill of rights that applies to all nursing homes that accept Medicare—essentially, all of them. Learning a resident’s rights could be helpful to a family trying to ensure that their loved one receives proper treatment.
Because the resident is already in delicate health, differentiating between normal decline and the effects of abuse or neglect could be challenging. Family members could assess a situation by asking probing questions and not accepting facile answers. Many facilities try to cover up mistreatment by blaming a resident’s condition on external forces or the resident themselves, when the facility staff are actually responsible.
Signs of Abuse Require Action
If a nursing home resident exhibits concerning changes in their physical condition, mood, or behavior, a loved one should investigate immediately. Speaking with staff and administrators is a good first step. However, if their answers are unsatisfactory or the situation does not improve, the family member should take further action. Filing an official report to the state’s licensing authorities might spur the facility to improve a loved one’s care.
Signs that are indicative of elder abuse include:
- Wounds, cuts, and bruises in different stages of healing
- Sudden onset of agitation, depression, or anxiety that is not explained by a change in circumstances or medication
- Trauma to the sexual organs or a diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease
- Frequent or prolonged use of chemical or physical restraints
Injuries that may suggest abuse require thorough investigation—even if the facility offers an explanation. A Phenix City nursing home negligence lawyer could analyze medical records, interview witnesses and staff, and review any past complaints with the licensing board to determine whether the facility is providing proper care.
Consider a Negligence Lawsuit
If an older adult suffers injuries or trauma from nursing home abuse or neglect, their family could consider filing a lawsuit to seek compensation. If a family proves that the facility did not provide their loved one an acceptable standard of care, the facility could be liable to pay monetary damages.
Damages in a nursing home negligence case often include the cost of all medical treatment necessary because of the neglect or abuse. A comprehensive financial award may also include compensation for the loved one’s physical pain, humiliation, mental anguish, disability, and reduced quality of life.
It could take several weeks or months to prepare a lawsuit, and the resident should not be exposed to continuing harm. A Phenix City nursing home abuse attorney also could help a family remove a patient from a dangerous environment and place them in a safe facility where they will receive better care.
Speak with a Phenix City Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Now
Do not stand by if you believe your loved one might be experiencing neglect or abuse at a nursing home. If you investigate and find no cause for concern, no harm is done. If you ignore the situation, vulnerable people suffer.
A Phenix City nursing home abuse lawyer knows how to uncover evidence of abuse and neglect in local care facilities. Get in touch with David Bence immediately if you suspect a nursing home is mistreating your loved one.