Nursing Home Lawyer, Maryland
Five Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
A nursing home lawyer Maryland family’s trust can be there for you if a loved one has suffered at the hands of those responsible for taking care of them. When people place their parents into a nursing home, they trust that their elders will be taken care of. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. There have been many cases of nursing home neglect in recent years. This occurs when a patient does not receive the level of physical or emotional care he or she needs. If your parent is a victim of nursing home neglect, you may want to contact an experienced nursing home lawyer from Brown Kiely.
Because families are not around their elders on a full-time basis once they enter a nursing home, they may be unsure whether their loved one is suffering abuse of any kind. When in doubt, it’s always good to err on the side of caution in order to protect your family member. If you believe they are suffering, you have the right to remove them from the facility as well as notify local law enforcement and request them to investigate.
In addition, it does not hurt to contact a Montgomery County nursing home lawyer from our firm to seek guidance. It’s important to understand your rights, and the rights of your family member who resides in a nursing home facility. A nursing home lawyer Maryland elders turn to from our firm can help your family recover damages from a negligent nursing home facility. At Brown Kiely LLP we offer family members a free consultation with a nursing home lawyer in Maryland from our staff. Call us today if you suspect or know that your loved one has suffered abuse by a caregiver.
Some Quick Stats on Nursing Home Abuse
The National Council on Aging, or the NCOA, has worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) to get statistics that may help you better understand nursing home abuse.
Nursing home abuse is just one type of elder abuse, and it’s very hard to get accurate numbers because not every elderly person wants to admit they’re being abused.
The above organizations have found that women are more likely to be abused than men, lower socioeconomic status can lead to elder abuse, individuals who have past trauma in their lives are more likely to be abused again. Mental health and physical health can play into the likelihood of being abused, too.
The NCOA found that roughly 6 out of every 10 elder abuse cases were caused by family members, and in 2020 the WHO found through a study that roughly 64% of nursing home staff members were committing some form of abuse towards their patients.
Environments that can worsen abuse are another factor to take into mind, such as social isolation where the elderly have no family or friends who visit, poor-quality nursing homes that are lacking in facilities and resources, and household size. The more people in a household, the greater the risk of abuse.
When you look at the four types of abuse: emotional, sexual, financial and physical, the above organizations were able to get some stats regarding those as well. Keep in mind, these stats are skewed as not every case is reported.
When it comes to physical nursing home abuse, the studies found that roughly 24% of residents would experience one instance of physical abuse while in the nursing home. This could be as simple as being pushed down, left in bed or in a chair all day, or other signs of physical abuse.
Emotional abuse is the most prevalent type reported by nursing home staff members in 2020, according to the WHO. Almost 1 out of every 3 staff members admitted to emotionally abusing their patients. Emotional abuse is screaming at patients, or otherwise denying their emotional needs—even isolating patients falls into this category of abuse.
Furthermore, verbal abuse is the most often reported elder mistreatment when it comes to family members committing abuse. Verbal abuse goes hand-in-hand with emotional abuse, but does have its own category. This is screaming at patients, calling them names or otherwise verbally bullying them.
Sexual abuse was the least commonly reported, as the WHO found that less than 2% of nursing home residents reported cases. Sexual abuse is the least commonly reported, but this does not mean that it happens the least. People in these situations are least likely to report—especially if they are a man being sexually abused by a woman, or an older man, younger woman. In generally, elderly people want to hide this type of abuse because they usually talk themselves into being ashamed, and feeling at fault as do many victims of sexual abuse.
Financial abuse happens if an individual’s finances are exploited or withheld from them. Elders are most likely to experience this form of abuse, especially elders who have dementia and other issues remembering things. 1 in 20 older adults indicated that they suffered from financial abuse.
Understanding the overarching types of abuse can help you catch signs of said abuse. That’s probably why you invested in a nursing home, and you want to know they’re safe and being cared for. If you’ve noticed signs of nursing home abuse, reach out to a nursing home abuse lawyer.
Though this is not an all-inclusive list, here are five common signs of nursing home neglect:
Malnutrition can result from nursing home neglect. Whether it is caused on purpose or from lack of proper oversight of the resident, poor nutrition can seriously affect their long term as well as short term health. Common signs of malnutrition include weight loss, lethargy, poor concentration, and a loss of appetite. If you believe your elderly loved one has suffered malnutrition in a nursing home, contact a nursing home lawyer from Brown Kiely LLP without delay. A nursing home lawyer Montgomery County victims rely on can help you file a claim or lawsuit against those responsible. A settlement or jury award can make all the difference when it comes to making sure your loved one has the funds necessary to get the medical care they need.
- Poor Hygiene
Many nursing home residents rely on staff members to help them brush their teeth, take baths, cut their nails, and brush their hair. If staff members neglect to do this, residents’ personal hygiene may suffer. If you notice that your parent looks unkempt or smells bad, it’s likely that his or her personal hygiene needs aren’t being met. This can result in serious skin afflictions and other health concerns.
- Unexplained Injuries
Nursing home residents who do not receive the proper care are in danger of suffering injuries. For example, if there is not a nurse available to help a resident walk to the bathroom, he or she may slip and fall and get hurt. If your elderly loved one has suffered bruises, broken bones, or other injuries, he or she probably isn’t getting the attention they need and deserve at the nursing home. When someone is advanced in age, a broken bone can be a very serious health concern and in some cases, can lead to death. It’s important to be proactive by consulting a nursing home lawyer Montgomery County loved ones choose for their elders who may not have a voice regarding their care.
- Lack of Mobility
It is important for nursing home residents to exercise and move around frequently to strengthen their bones. Mobility is also necessary to keep their circulation healthy by delivering oxygen-rich blood to their brain and organs. If residents are left in bed for too many hours in a day, it can reduce their mobility and even put them at risk of infections and bedsores. It can also lead to depression. Depression can lead to a loss of appetite and adversely affect their physical and emotional health. If your parent has sudden mobility issues, it could be a cause for concern. For that reason, it may be important to follow up with the nursing home staff to find out how much exercise your loved one is receiving. You may also wish to speak directly with the facility’s physician to look into your parent’s health concerns.
- Unclean Living Conditions
Nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure their living spaces and common areas are safe and clean for their residents. If they fail to do this, the residents can catch serious illnesses. It can also be detrimental to their state of mind to live in an unkempt living facility. When you visit your parent in the nursing home, be sure to check out the living conditions. Does he or she have a bed with fresh sheets? Are the bathroom and kitchen clean? If the nursing home appears to be unsanitary, disorganized, or dirty in some way, you may want to speak to a knowledgeable nursing home lawyer from Brown Kiely LLP. Learn more about Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse.
At Brown Kiely LLP, we know how devastating it can be to find out your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect. We have helped many people in your situation obtain compensation from those responsible so that their loved ones could get the care they need. Our lawyers can help you file an injury claim or a lawsuit against the nursing home for your loved one’s mistreatment.
If you want to set up a free consultation to discuss your case, we encourage you to call us to talk to an experienced nursing home lawyer Maryland offers.
The Four Steps of a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
If you recently received news that your senior loved one has endured nursing home mistreatment, you can rely on a Maryland nursing home lawyer from Brown Kiely LLP for legal assistance. We have been committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of people since 1998. Our team can offer experience and empathy when it comes to helping you take legal action against the facility responsible for this abuse or neglect.
You may have already filed a report with the nursing home facility regarding these incidents of mistreatment. You may have found that the response you received was less than satisfactory, and are now interested in taking further action.
Legal Preparation with a Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer
Finding out that the nursing facility is not going to properly address the allegation of resident mistreatment can be incredibly upsetting. You may then feel increasingly motivated to see that justice and compensation is sought. If there is a solid foundation for a lawsuit, then your nursing home lawyer at Brown Kiely LLP can help you prepare for the legal proceeding to come. In general, there are four steps involved when undertaking a lawsuit. These steps can include the following:
- Gathering Information About the Allegation: Talk with your loved one about all the times he or she was left unattended to, physically harmed, felt threatened, or otherwise treated in an unsafe manner. You may realize that there were more situations than he or she had initially informed you of. Sometimes, it takes a victim of nursing home mistreatment a long time to finally speak up about what is going on. Your loved one may have feared worsened abuse, or that he or she would not be believed anyway.
- Completing Necessary Paperwork: Filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit with the courts in the appropriate Maryland jurisdiction and waiting for the facility to receive notice of the legal action being taken. Your nursing home lawyer can oversee your completion of the paperwork to notify you of errors or statements that could potentially have a negative impact on the case.
- Assembling Information for Discovery: Your nursing home lawyer can help you collect, organize and make copies of information that can be supportive to the case. The more details and proof you can bring forward regarding the mistreatment, the more likely you can get the settlement you are hoping for. Impactful evidence can include your loved one’s statements of the abuse, photographs of visible injuries, and witnesses who saw the incident happen.
- Negotiation of Settlement and Trial: in most civil cases, rarely does it proceed forward to a court trial. What is likely to happen is a settlement is reached, where all parties involved are satisfied with the resolution. However, if you are not pleased with the settlement, then you can move forward to a trial where a judge and/or jury decide the outcome instead.
If you are worried about the safety of your loved one in a nursing home, we suggest reaching out to us right away. Please call us today for a free consultation with a nursing home lawyer clients recommend at Brown Kiely LLP. We can help you decide whether legal action may need to be taken regarding the mistreatment.