Whenever you pay a visit to an elderly loved one in a nursing home, you naturally want to be sure that they’re receiving the best care possible.
However, you may have picked up on a red flag that points to nursing home abuse.
Your family member may have unexplained bruises all over their body and other signs of personal injury.
They may complain that they aren’t getting the compassionate care they need, such as medication, food, or hygiene.
In addition, they might have reported that their caregivers are verbally abusing them.
In need of an experienced Fort Smith nursing home abuse attorney?
For over 25 years, our nursing home abuse attorneys have been serving the state of Arkansas.
If you suspect that a loved one is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, please contact the Fort Smith nursing home abuse lawyers at Keith Law Group today.
Over 1.4 million people aged 65 and older are currently in nursing home facilities.
However, due to mental or physical incapacity, many of the elderly population are at a high risk of being abused or neglected.
Abuse in nursing homes has a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of people annually.
According to the nursing home ombudsman, there were around 15,000 reports of neglect or abuse in 2020.
According to a report published in 2018 by the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), nursing home residents are at risk for abuse at the hands of both personnel and other elderly residents.
Here is how the NCVC categorizes reports of abuse in nursing homes:
Abuse in nursing homes is a subset of a much bigger issue.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) estimates that as many as 5 million senior citizens are abuse victims each year.
However, not all instances of abuse in nursing homes are reported, and experts are still working to pin down exact numbers.
This is made even more complicated by the fact that some elderly adults may not want to share their experiences or may not be able to.
Fort Smith nursing home abuse occurs when elderly patients suffer from deliberate or negligent actions taken by caregivers.
Types of nursing home abuse include:
Physical abuse is any form of ill-treatment by a nursing home worker that causes personal injury, pain, or disability.
However, abuse can occur without the victim experiencing any obvious or significant discomfort.
Malnourishment and dehydration, for example, are subtle indicators of physical abuse that can go unrecognized.
Most cases of neglect occur unintentionally because of a lack of staff.
When basic necessities like personal hygiene, water, and food are overlooked, this can be considered neglect.
This can lead to various health problems, including malnutrition, dehydration, skin infections, and bed sores.
Also called psychological harm, emotional abuse is when nursing home employees intentionally cause mental anguish or stress by doing things that aren’t physically harmful.
However, it’s crucial to remember that the effects of emotional abuse aren’t always obvious.
Thus, it might be difficult to spot signs. As a result, emotional abuse has become a widespread problem in nursing home facilities.
When a nursing home resident is sexually abused, they are deliberately violated in a sexual way without consent.
Sexual abuse comes in many forms and can be perpetrated by anybody, including employees, residents, or visitors.
Some forms, such as harassment, may be more difficult to recognize than others, like penetration or groping.
This includes any form of sexual contact with a resident who can’t communicate or has cognitive impairments, such as a dementia patient.
Nursing home financial abuse occurs when a resident is manipulated or exploited for economic benefit.
When a resident’s property, assets, or money are used in a way that is not in their best interests, this is considered abuse.
In addition, abusers sometimes capitalize on a vulnerable person’s lack of financial savvy.
This kind of deception may require a large group of people to pull off inside and outside the organization.
Abandonment happens when a person responsible for caring for an older person or who has primary custody leaves them behind.
Some examples of nursing home abandonment include the following:
In some cases, Fort Smith nursing home residents report abuse to their family and friends.
However, some residents of Arkansas nursing homes might not be able to tell anybody about the abuse they’ve suffered at the hands of employees.
Signs of elder abuse can be seen in the following list.
Depression, disorientation, agitation, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, and isolation are all symptoms of Fort Smith nursing home abuse, as noted by the National Institute on Aging.
Family and friends visiting a resident in a Fort Smith nursing home may discover that their loved one has lost some weight, although there seem to be no changes in food or activity level.
The resident might not have been getting enough meals or the right kind of food at the nursing home, both of which are indicators of neglect.
When you visit a nursing home, take note of whether the residents appear to have recently showered.
Examine the residents’ clothing and living conditions to see if they are clean.
If not, the National Institute on Aging suggests that nursing home abuse may be the problem.
Does your senior family member have a lot of mysterious bruises?
Do they seem to be suffering from infections that can be readily treated or avoided?
These may indicate elderly abuse in a nursing facility.
When visiting a loved one in a Fort Smith nursing home, it’s common to find that the resident’s medications have been changed without the family’s knowledge or consent.
Abuse in a nursing home might include situations like this.
While the average compensation for a lawsuit against nursing home abuse is around $406,000, the amount awarded might vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case.
Noteworthy examples of nursing home settlements include:
There are nationwide programs to ensure the safety of senior citizens in nursing homes.
Read on for links to resources and organizations that help prevent elder abuse:
The families and friends of Fort Smith nursing home abuse victims can reach the following for assistance:
In most cases, corporations that own care facilities, such as nursing homes, will do anything to prevent their residents from proving neglect and abuse to avoid financial responsibility.
They have the resources, the nursing home abuse attorneys, and the insurance companies to drag out the process and make it so you give up.
That’s why you’ll need the help of experienced nursing home abuse lawyers from The Keith Law Group.
We’re familiar with their methods and we’ve already won similar cases.
If you’re not a lawyer, navigating the legal system can be challenging.
You can make the legal process much easier if you talk to a knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
Residents of a Medicare-approved Fort Smith nursing home are entitled to an environment free from physical, verbal, sexual, and other types of abuse, as well as restraints used for purposes other than medical treatment.
Even in the absence of a contract, residents of nursing homes who are harmed because of poor care may collect damages under numerous principles in state law and federal law.
This is also applicable to their survivors.
States generally agree that nursing home neglect occurs when an elderly person is denied access to basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothes, supervision, and medical treatment.
Cases against nursing homes are frequently classified as either neglect or abuse, depending on whether the failures in question were deliberate or careless.