The residents of Detroit’s nursing homes often include some of the most vulnerable residents of the city. Many of these elderly residents suffer from physical or cognitive decline. These health issues can make nursing home residents prime targets of abuse, fraud, or neglect.
Nursing homes and their employees have a duty to protect the health and welfare of every resident. This includes not only protecting them from physical injury but also from mental or financial harm. When a nursing home fails in that duty, the consequences can be grave.
If your loved one has suffered abuse at a nursing home, the attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to hold the owners and operators of the facility accountable. Call (800) 842-6336 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today and learn how a Detroit nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you.
Warning Signs of Elder Abuse
Given that there are multiple types of elder abuse, it should come as no surprise that the warning signs of abuse can vary from case to case. Elder abuse can happen to anyone who lives in a nursing home. That said, residents facing cognitive or physical disabilities are more likely than others to face abuse.
One of the challenges of rooting out nursing home abuse is the low rate of reporting. Many nursing home residents do not speak up for fear of reprisal, while others lack the ability to communicate clearly. With this in mind, it is vital to understand the warning signs of elder abuse. Some examples include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Emotional changes, including withdrawal
- Tooth or hair loss
- Unexplained weight loss
- Visible fear
- Unexplained financial transactions
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies five unique types of nursing home abuse. While not every incident of abuse will fall neatly into one of these five categories, this list does provide a useful tool for understanding the nature of abuse your loved one has experienced. These five categories include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and neglect.
Physical abuse can involve any intentional use of force that results in harm to a resident. This harm could include pain, physical injury, distress, or even death. Common examples of physical abuse include kicking, biting, or punching a resident. The unnecessary use of physical or chemical restraints also qualifies as abuse.
Sexual abuse in a nursing home setting involves any non-consensual sexual contact with a resident. This type of abuse often goes unreported in nursing homes, as many residents lack the capacity to consent, much less report an attack. While sexual abuse could occur at the hands of caretakers, visitors or other residents are also responsible in some cases.
One of the most damaging forms of abuse a nursing home resident can suffer will never leave any physical injuries. Emotional abuse is any form of verbal or nonverbal behavior that causes fear, mental pain, or distress in a nursing home resident. This could include anything from humiliation to threats of violence.
Nursing home residents are in a precarious position in some ways. While they enjoy the right to manage their own finances, they are also frequently susceptible to undue influence. This combination presents a real risk of fraud. Any form of improper or unauthorized transfer of a thing of value could qualify as financial abuse. Examples are as simple as theft or as complex as fraudulent real estate transactions.
Simply ignoring a nursing home resident’s needs is one of the most harmful types of abuse. Neglect is the failure to address a resident’s basic needs like food, medicine, or hygiene. Some acts of neglect are intentional, while others result from a nursing home’s inability to maintain proper staffing levels.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Detroit, call (800) 794-0444
Regulations for Nursing Homes
While the specific regulations for nursing homes can vary to a degree from one state to another, the rights of nursing home residents are protected across the country through federal law. Since 1987, nursing homes have been required to comply with the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA). This act sets a number of standards and provides residents with a long list of protected rights under federal law.
Nursing Home Requirements
The NHRA lays out a large number of specific requirements that every nursing home must abide by. Typically, these requirements are written into state law as well. The violation of these requirements could not only result in fines and suspended licenses, but it could also result in the basis for a personal injury claim as well. Some of the requirements of the NHRA include:
- The provision of adequate nursing staff
- Accurate record maintenance
- Promotion of a culture of dignity, respect, and quality of life
- Providing residents with a choice of activities and health care
- Providing access to necessary medical care
- Overseeing efforts to prevent harassment, fraud, or abuse
- Providing necessary options for grooming, hygiene, cleanliness, and nutrition
The Residents’ Bill of Rights
The rights enumerated in the NHRA are known as the “Residents’ Bill of Rights.” These rights include:
- The freedom from all forms of neglect, abuse, or mistreatment
- Protection from unnecessary physical or chemical restraints
- The right to express grievances
- The right to manage finances
- Access to medical, legal, and financial advisers
- The right to take part in medical decisions and treatment plans
- The right to communicate freely
Any violation of these rights could result in a potential nursing home abuse claim. If your loved one has experienced abuse or neglect, a Detroit nursing home abuse lawyer might be able to help. Discuss the circumstances surrounding the abuse with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm as soon as possible.
Detroit Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Your Loved One Could Be Entitled to Financial Compensation Due to Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, it is vital that you contact the appropriate authorities right away. Hiring a Detroit nursing home abuse lawyer could also help your loved one protect their legal rights.
To move forward with an injury claim following an incident of nursing home abuse, call (800) 842-6336 to schedule a free consultation with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.