Nursing homes are one of society’s necessary evils. No one wants to think about the day that one of us, or one of our loved ones, might have to reside at a nursing home. Unfortunately, many people simply do not have the resources or the physical ability to give ailing loved ones the care that they need and require. Because of that, nursing homes serve a very important role of taking care of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Oftentimes residents of nursing homes can’t look out for themselves or voice their concerns or issues to the nursing home. Therefore, families trust and rely on the nursing home to look after their loved ones with dignity and respect, and to provide them with the required essential care.
When the facility fails to meet these expectations, this puts the health and safety of our loved ones in jeopardy. However, does this mean nursing home abuse has occurred? What is nursing home abuse? What should you do if you think abuse or neglect has occurred?
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Can Take Many Forms
Nursing home abuse can really take any form, whether it is neglecting the medical, social, and emotional needs of a resident to intentional and wrongful physical or emotional attacks. The nursing home resident is often unable to let people know that these events are occurring.
It is especially important, whenever possible, for those of us who can visit our loved ones to do so regularly. Talk to the staff, watch how they interact with the residents, and talk as much as possible with your family.
- Does it seem like there is enough staff around?
- Does the staff seem overworked or overly stressed?
- Is the facility clean?
- Have you noticed a change in the emotional or cognitive status of your loved one?
It is imperative that you be the eyes and ears for your family member. Look for any new physical conditions such as bruises, abrasions, and pressure ulcers. If you do see these types of things, follow up with the facility. How did they occur? When were they noticed? What has been done in response? The nursing home staff should have regular and scheduled contact with family members and decision makers whenever these types of things are discovered. The staff should welcome your concerns and talk directly with you about the care they are providing.
Profits Over People
While nursing home abuse or negligence can take many forms, the common denominator for many nursing home abuse and negligence cases is the corporate machine placing profits over people. Hiring, training, and retaining quality staff is imperative for good nursing home care. Staffing numbers often have a direct correlation with the quality and extent of care and supervision provided to our loved ones. Budgeting decisions often at the corporate board meeting level very often do not meet the needs of individual facilities and individual residents.
Unfortunately, working in a nursing home can be a difficult job. There are many great nursing home workers who genuinely care about their patients and their jobs. However, it is difficult for nursing homes to retain such workers when they pay such small salaries and hourly rates to the nursing aids and staff members who have constant and direct contact with residents. Are those workers who are at the facility being adequately supervised? Without adequate staff and supervision, nursing home residents’ body positions are not adjusted, dressings are not changed, residents might not be bathed sufficiently, and the beginning stages of wounds and status changes might be missed and valuable time to respond might be lost.
Act Quickly if Nursing Home Abuse Has Occurred
If you notice any signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, it is important that you act quickly. There are different types of action that might be taken.
First, there are investigation procedures whereby state and federal regulatory authorities can sometimes take quick action to investigate allegations. Reach out to your state long term care Ombudsman to start the administrative investigative process. The most important thing is to make sure that your loved one gets the immediate attention that they need and deserve.
Furthermore, it may be appropriate to pursue civil litigation. At Gold, Khourey & Turak, this is something we can assist you with. Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have long been at the forefront of protecting the rights of nursing home residents and holding nursing homes accountable for their negligent actions. We have the resources and experience to find out what went wrong, demand answers, and seek justice for you and your loved one. If something isn’t right, and your loved one has suffered an injury while in a nursing home, our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can investigate to determine if the harm caused is a result of abuse or neglect.
Gold, Khourey & Turak is Ready to Help You
Nursing home abuse and neglect cases can be complicated and expensive to pursue. Not all law firms can handle such cases. If nursing home abuse or neglect has occurred, you can trust that the nursing home abuse attorneys at Gold, Khourey & Turak have the resources to pursue your claim, hold the nursing home accountable, and obtain the compensation you and your family deserve. Our nursing home abuse lawyers stand ready to aggressively investigate nursing home abuse and negligence cases. If you think a nursing home has placed profits over people that resulted in an injury or worse, contact us today for a free consultation. We can be reached 24 hours a day by phone or text at (304) 845-9750, or from our website Live Chat or online consultation form.