Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers in Pikesville, MD Protecting the Rights of Long-Term Care Residents
With advances in medical technology and the availability of life-saving drugs significantly increasing, it is easy to understand why many people are starting to live longer. However, as the population grows older, there comes a greater need to care for the elderly population. Although individuals are able to live longer, that does not mean that they are in the best of health and do not require expert medical care as they age. At one time, the care of elderly family members was leyeft up to their children or other extended family members. In today’s times, individual circumstances, coupled with a different mentality toward caring for the family, have changed so that many in the aging population are now sent to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities.
Most nursing homes offer excellent quality care for their residents. However, due to overcrowding and understaffing, there is a chance that your loved one could be subjected to abuse or other serious injuries. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Alex Poberesky, P.A., have experience in handling nursing home abuse cases. Contact us today at (410) 484-0400 and schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys who can advise you as to your legal options.
What Are the Most Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse Cases?
Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse cases are not particularly uncommon. Some of the most recurrent problems are as follows:
Emotional abuse: Sadly, this is the most common form of abuse in a nursing home. This type of abuse can be harder to detect than physical abuse because the injuries that it inflicts are of a psychological nature. Some examples of emotional abuse include:
- Causing a patient to feel guilty or distressed, especially in regard to their care.
- Shouting, yelling, or talking to the patient in a loud or aggressive manner.
- Making threats or using intimidation against a patient. This can include threats to their well-being if, for example, the patient tells a staff member that they will report them for inappropriate conduct.
- Insulting or ridiculing a patient in any way.
- Threatening to withhold treatment, food or water, or other services from a patient.
- Isolating them from other friends in the facility or from their own families.
Financial exploitation: This type of abuse occurs when a resident of the nursing home has their money or property taken from them through the means of theft, fraud, or some other type of illegal activity. This can be dangerous for patients who have dementia or other memory issues.
Medication Mismanagement: One of the most egregious acts of abuse that can be committed against the resident of a nursing home would be withholding any type of prescribed medications or other necessary treatment. Factors that can accompany this would be not giving an adequate amount of water or food in order to take the medication properly, failing to mix medications properly, giving an incorrect dose, or knowingly giving medication that is expired.
Malnutrition or dehydration: If you have begun to notice that your loved one appears malnourished or dehydrated, this could indicate that they are not being provided enough to eat or drink or that there is inadequate assistance at mealtimes if their medical condition requires it.
Sexual Abuse: Often, this type of abuse goes undetected, as the resident who has been abused is afraid to speak up and say anything out of fear of retaliation. Any unwanted or inappropriate touching or forcing or tricking the victim into inappropriate sexual behavior is considered to be sexual abuse. Additionally, if a patient is incapacitated due to their medical condition, then they are considered legally unable to give consent.
Any type of abuse listed above should be taken seriously, and if you suspect abuse, you need to contact one of our attorneys immediately to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.
What Are Some Warning Signs of Suspected Abuse?
Bedsores: One of the risks of being in a nursing facility is acquiring bedsores. Many residents are forced, due to their age or injuries, to spend a large amount of time in bed or confined to a wheelchair. In cases such as these, there are certain medical protocols that have been put in place to prevent bedsores before they can occur. If these safety measures are not followed correctly, then severe injury can occur that can even lead to death.
Unexplained Marks or Bruises: Because of immobility and other issues that result from being in a long-term care facility, seniors often receive bumps or bruises from routine activities or other movements needed for their care. One thing to look for is the appearance of bruising around the wrist area, as it could be an indication that a patient is being restrained. Other large or significant bruises may be a strong indicator that another resident or employee of the care facility is causing physical harm.
Sudden Weight Loss: A strong indicator of neglect in a facility involves a resident who is losing weight without a corresponding medical condition. Reasons may include failing to provide the patient with an adequate amount of food or improperly managing a patient’s diet. In addition, if a patient has been abused through some of the other methods that have been discussed, they may become depressed to the point that they refuse to eat and lose weight as a result.
Sudden Behavioral Changes: Sadly, at a time of their life when residents of nursing homes should be enjoying themselves and have the opportunity to participate in activities, they may suddenly become withdrawn and isolate themselves. Regrettably, this can be a red flag that your loved one is being abused. If they seem to be particularly anxious around certain staff members when previously they were not, this can also be a sign of abuse.
It should be noted that the conditions that have been listed do not necessarily mean that a resident is being abused. However, it is vital that you pay close attention to both their physical and mental condition and keep notes with the day and time and a description of what you noticed and observed in case there is abuse occurring.
How Can a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Help me with a Nursing Home Abuse Case?
Our law firm is committed to helping families who suspect that their loved one is being abused or mistreated in a facility. Our lawyers are passionate about protecting the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Alex Poberesky, P.A., are highly qualified and experienced in dealing with cases that involve nursing home abuse. We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of your loved ones and getting the justice that they deserve.
We can immediately begin by reviewing the individual circumstances and factors that surround your claim. If your case is accepted, we will work tirelessly to help you and your family member to receive a potential settlement that will be in their best interests.
If you would like to talk to one of our knowledgeable injury attorneys in Pikesville, please contact us at 410-484-0400 and schedule an appointment for a free consultation. We strive to uphold the rights of seniors and anyone else who may be receiving the services of a nursing home or any other type of care facility. We look forward to serving you.