The holiday season often sees the unlawful treatment of elderly people by care facility staff. The reasons can vary from staff shortages to high end-of-year demands and even negligence. Loved ones residing in a care home have the right to an environment free from mistreatment, abuse, and neglect. This post touches on nursing home abuse laws, and legal options for both victims and families.
Spotting signs of nursing home neglect
For many families, it can be difficult for elderly or disabled relatives to attend family gatherings. Families can, instead, travel to nursing homes for visitation. During these visits to assisted living facilities, it’s prudent to check for signs of nursing home neglect. While each of these signs on their own may not indicate abuse, when viewed together, it might be wise to contact nursing home neglect lawyers.
It’s also important to note physical or sexual abuse isn’t the only reason to contact a nursing home neglect attorney. Emotional abuse (through threats or enforced isolation) or financial abuse (through theft or financial manipulation) are also worth contacting nursing home neglect lawyers over. Signs of all these kinds of abuse usually include the following:
- Anxiety and panicking
- Broken bones, particularly if untreated
- Bruising or other personal injuries
- Cuts or scars
- Damaged or missing property
- Damaged clothing
- Fear of touch
- Mentions of suicide
- Missing property
- Mumbling or lack of communication
- Restraint marks
- Poor hygiene
- Severe weight loss
- Unexplained financial transaction(s)
- Unsanitary conditions
Your rights and protection
It’s important to always keep in mind that nursing home residents do have rights under the law in the United States. Freedom from abuse and neglect is among the most important of these rights. However, there are also many other rights family members in a nursing home have under the law. Failure to respect these rights could result in findings of nursing home neglect.
Beyond the abuse listed above, nursing home residents have the right to freedom from restraints, whether physical or chemical (i.e., sedative drugs). Residents also have the right to complain without fear of abuse.
Respect and freedom from discrimination are equally essential. Any discrimination based on factors such as age, race, or religion could be a civil rights violation. There’s also a basic expectation of medical care at nursing homes. This goes beyond being provided with the necessary medical care for health. Residents have the right to have their health status and treatment explained to them in a language they understand. Medical conditions, prescriptions, vitamins, and supplements must be explained.
If there’s an accident or illness, the nursing home must inform doctors and any stated legal representatives. Similarly, nursing home residents can’t be discharged without these relevant medical and legal parties being notified.
Why hire a nursing home neglect lawyer
Nursing home abuse lawsuits can be complicated. As you can likely tell, identifying abuse and violation of rights can sometimes be a laborious process. A nursing home neglect attorney can help you and your loved ones understand legal rights, help you collect evidence of neglect, and simplify negotiations with insurers.
If you’re worried about a family member in a nursing home this holiday season, don’t hesitate to contact our experts today to get in touch with a nursing home neglect law firm, or take our free evaluation.