Protect your Loved Ones in a Nursing Home
Nursing homes should be a safe place where the elderly and those who cannot take care of themselves completely are cared for and nurtured as needed. Most nursing home workers are compassionate and spend dozens of hours every week looking after those who need to be cared for. Tragically, in some instances, people take advantage of the trust offered them and abuse those who are placed in their care.
If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to act immediately to protect them and ensure they are safe in the future. The first thing you should do is contact a Louisville law enforcement agency and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to report your suspicions and the evidence you have. You should then make sure those responsible for such horrendous offenses are liable for their actions. Call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today at (800) 937-8443 to talk to a local, experienced Louisville medical malpractice lawyer. We can discuss your case and work to make sure to protect the applicable party’s rights.
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Nursing Home Abuse
While sensational headlines might make it seem like there are vicious fiends waiting to prey upon unsuspecting elders at every turn, in reality, most nursing home employees are caring, compassionate professionals. With that in mind, however, there are some people who do not belong in the nursing home field and who have either neglected those in their care due to apathy, or who actively abuse and injure their wards out of malice. In either situation, those who they provide care to need protection, and the offenders must pay for their vile actions.
Common Signs of Abuse
While signs and indications of abuse can vary from one situation to another, they generally come down to mental and physical changes in a loved one at a nursing home. Disorientation and confusion can be common in some situations, but if it is sudden and there is no clear reason for it, then it may be an indicator of abuse. If the person in a nursing home seems excessively sleepy, again without explanation, then it might be an indicator of over-medication or other forms of neglect.
Immobility and incontinence can be warning signs, especially if they are sudden. Nursing homes typically have programs for exercise, even for the elderly, to ensure muscle strength, and neglecting these programs can leave a person immobile or suddenly weaker than before. Poor hygiene and incontinence can be indicators that someone is not receiving proper toilet and bath care, so watch for dirty clothes or long hair and finger nails.
Unexplained broken bones and bruises are common indicators of violent abuse against a loved one in a nursing home. These can be a result of assaults against them or by a lack of proper care and attention when moving someone who is bedridden. While falls and other natural occurrences can result in such injuries, be aware of sudden bruises without an adequate explanation. You should also watch for malnutrition and signs of dehydration, as well as psychological indicators like sudden and new quietness, fear, anxiety, or guilt. All of these can be signs that abuse has occurred.
What Do I Do If I Suspect Abuse?
If you truly believe nursing home abuse is occurring, then you should immediately file a report with a local law enforcement agency and with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. This begins any legal proceedings and can result in potential criminal charges against those who have perpetrated any abuse. Not only does this protect your own loved ones, but anyone else who may be suffering while in the care of the offenders.
You may also be able to file a civil lawsuit against those responsible for the abuse of your loved one. This can include any nurses or staff directly involved in abuse, as well as the organization that owns the nursing home. Proving negligence and liability can be difficult, but it is important to protect the rights of those you love. Call us at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC right now toll free at (800) 937-8443 to talk about your case and learn what options are available to you.
Other Types of Elder Abuse
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