When you make the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home you have the right to expect they will receive compassionate, appropriate care. Unfortunately, that is sometimes not the case.
If you suspect that your loved one is not receiving adequate care in a nursing facility, an understanding attorney could guide you through the steps you can take to help your loved one. A Southampton nursing home abuse lawyer could advise you about your legal options to hold the wrongdoers accountable and recover compensation for the harm your loved one suffered.
Causes of Nursing Facility Negligence
When staff is overworked, undertrained, and poorly paid, they might not have the time or the knowledge to provide the attentive care residents need. Low morale and stress could also be factors that lead to callous treatment of residents. Oversight could be lacking, and situations might deteriorate to an unacceptable degree before coming to the attention of supervisors or administrators.
Staff screening might also be an issue in some nursing homes. People with histories of assaultive behavior, mental illness, addiction, or sexual crimes sometimes secure jobs in nursing homes where they could abuse the vulnerable population they are supposed to be caring for. A Southampton attorney with knowledge of elder abuse issues could investigate the personnel practices at a facility to determine whether negligent hiring, training, or supervision could have been a factor in a resident’s maltreatment.
Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes
Sometimes nursing home employees fail to treat a resident with the compassion and dignity they deserve. Although this is unconscionable, callous or cold behavior generally is not considered abuse. Actionable nursing home abuse that local attorneys often see typically falls into one of the following categories:
Striking a patient, using physical restraint, or having physical contact with a patient in a manner meant to cause pain or distress is physical abuse.
Intentionally mocking, humiliating, or ridiculing a patient is emotional abuse. Emotional abuse could also be isolating a patient, exploiting their fears, or purposefully frightening them.
Non-consensual touching, sexually-focused conversation, exposure of a patient’s private parts, or forcing or manipulating the patient into any sexually charged situation could be sexual abuse.
Failing to provide a resident with proper medical treatment is nursing home abuse. This might include failing to dispense prescribed medication, ignoring patient’s illness or discomfort, failing to move a patient to prevent skin ulcers, or not providing for the patient’s need for nutrition and hydration.
Financial exploitation and theft is also a problem in nursing facilities. Administrators or other employees might take advantage of residents by denying them access to their money, demanding money from them, or stealing money that is meant for the patient.
Signs of Nursing Home Resident Mistreatment
Nursing home abuse could be difficult to detect. Residents might not be capable of discussing what they have experienced or might be too ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid to mention it. In some cases, they may no longer have the cognitive ability to recognize abuse.
There are some signs of poor or inadequate care that loved ones should look for when visiting a nursing home resident. They include:
- Unexplained or repeated falls
- Anxiety, fear, agitation, withdrawal, suicidal ideation
- Changes in appetite, unexplained weight loss or gain
- Poor hygiene or dirty surroundings
- Patients escaping or wandering unattended
Nursing facility employees and professionals who provide care to nursing home residents have an obligation to report suspected abuse, according to 6 Pennsylvania Code §15.151. A failure to do so could itself be evidence of negligence. A knowledgeable attorney in Southampton could evaluate whether any staff failed in their obligation to report nursing home abuse.
Seek a Compassionate Southampton Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you believe your loved one is being mistreated in nursing facility, you owe it to them to speak out. A Southampton nursing home abuse lawyer could help you intervene effectively to relieve your loved one’s suffering. In addition, pursuing monetary damages could help your loved one seek treatment for the abuse they have suffered.
Get the support you need to help your loved one. Schedule a consultation today.