What Legal Options Do Families Have in Nursing Home Abuse Cases?
For many families, there comes a time when a decision needs to be made about where their elderly loved ones should live out their remaining years. If they are unable to live on their own but need too much care than the family can provide, that decision is often to place the loved one in a nursing home. While many of these facilities do provide the care residents need, there are tragically too many where residents are exposed and subjected to abuse and neglect. If your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, contact a nursing home lawyer right away.
Types of Abuse
In order to be able to recognize red flags that could indicate a resident is being abused, it is important to understand the different types of abuse:
- Physical abuse: Unfortunately, far too many seniors are victims of physical abuse, however, this is often the easiest type of abuse to identify because of the signs. The hitting, slapping, punching, pinching, and other abuses leave bruises, welts, cuts, and other physical evidence.
- Emotional abuse: This type of abuse is the most common, but also difficult to identify. The resident is subjected to insults, belittling, and other verbal mistreatment. Signs of this type of abuse include social isolation, changes in behavior, depression, and mood swings.
- Sexual abuse: A resident can suffer sexual abuse from nursing home staff or other residents. The majority of sexual abuse cases are against elderly residents who are no longer mentally or physically able to provide consent.
Should You Take Legal Action?
Each state has a designated agency that is in charge of overseeing nursing homes. If there are any incidents where a nursing home resident is a victim of abuse, then the agency must conduct a formal investigation when they are notified of the incident. Depending on the findings of the investigation and/or how many complaints are filed against a facility, the state has the power to pull the nursing home’s license. Tragically, this is why many facilities try to cover up incidents of abuse and/or neglect instead of confronting them head-on. It is also why many victims’ families turn to lawyers who specialize in nursing home abuse for legal assistance.
Contact a Nursing Home Lawyer for Legal Assistance
When families place their loved ones in nursing homes, they are entrusting the staff to not only provide good care for their loved ones but to do so with the respect and dignity they deserve. It is heartbreaking to discover that your loved one has been abused and/or neglected by the very people you trusted to take care of them.