When families choose nursing homes for their elderly or dependent loved ones, the decision does not come easily. They expect that the staff will provide the level of care their loved one deserves. Choosing to place your loved one in a home can present emotional and financial challenges. Unfortunately, some nursing facilities take advantage of the vulnerability of their residents, who suffer abuse and neglect that can have serious consequences on their health and well-being.
Some of the issues observed at local nursing homes include:
- Failure to respond to a resident who cried for help for eight minutes after falling out of bed
- Theft of resident property
- Overlooked physical abuse of residents by other residents
- Failure to put interventions in place to protect residents
- Verbal abuse and neglect
Physical abuse may leave visible wounds and scars, but many nursing home residents also suffer the pain of psychological harm, such as verbal assault and isolation. If nursing home staff failed to treat you or a loved one with adequate care, a Kansas City emotional abuse lawyer can help you. Contact Pintas & Mullins law firm today at (800) 842-6336
to speak with our legal team about your case.
Definitions of Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes
Although both have detrimental effects on nursing home residents, abuse and neglect refer to different situations. According to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, neglect occurs when staff fails to provide care for a resident, which can lead them to experience harm and pain. This can occur intentionally or as a result of overstaffing or poor training, as the inability to properly respond to a resident’s needs may constitute neglect. Examples include lack of assistance with:
- Going to the bathroom or changing disposable undergarments
- Eating or drinking
- Bathing, handwashing, and other hygiene routines
- Calls for help
- Participating in social activities and hobbies
Abuse, on the other hand, consists of actions that intend to inflict pain. Examples include physical, sexual, and psychological harm, such as:
- Hitting, slapping, or shoving
- Berating or belittling
- Ridiculing or humiliating
- Sexually assaulting
- Touching inappropriately
- Substandard care
- Rough handling
Any type of abuse or neglect can contribute to the emotional suffering of the resident, which family members may find more difficult to recognize than signs of physical abuse. If you suspect that nursing home staff may have subjected your loved one to abuse or neglect, a Kansas City emotional abuse lawyer can investigate your case and help you hold them accountable for the harm they caused.
Signs of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Home Residents
When nursing facilities do not provide their residents with adequate care, they often keep their problems behind closed doors to keep families in the dark about abusive and neglectful situations. Especially if your loved one suffers from a memory disorder or another illness that prevents typical communication, you may not spot the signs of nursing home abuse right away.
However, in addition to physical signs such as bruises, scratches, and sores, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) notes that you may notice indicators of emotional distress as a result of abuse or neglect, which may include:
- Refusal to take part in activities they enjoy
- Unkempt appearance
- Rocking back and forth or other signs of trauma
- Trouble sleeping
- Avoidance of questions
- Weight loss
- Agitation or irritability
If you notice these or other signs of nursing home abuse in your loved one, take action immediately.
For a free legal consultation with a Emotional Abuse Lawyer serving Kansas, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Residents Have a Right to Quality Care
In 1987, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). It details specific criteria nursing homes must meet in the provision of quality care to residents. Although the law previously prohibited abuse and neglect, its prevalence led to increased regulations to minimize its occurrence. While nursing home abuse still continues, residents do have rights, and they or their families can pursue legal action if the staff at their facility violates them.
The legal rights of nursing home residents include:
- Freedom from all forms of mistreatment
- Freedom from physical restraints
- The right to privacy
- The right to receive treatment with dignity, respect, and autonomy
- The right to participate in social activities
- The right to communicate freely and voice all concerns without retribution
- The right to have all needs met
Age, physical condition, and cognitive abilities do not exempt any individual from their personal rights, and a lawyer can help you stand up for those of your loved one.
Kansas Emotional Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
A Kansas City Emotional Abuse Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case
If you suffered nursing home abuse or neglect or suspect that your loved one may have, you might feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the idea of dealing with the legal system on your own. A lawyer can help relieve some of the burden by investigating the details of your specific case and helping you establish the liability of the nursing home for the injuries you or your loved one suffered.
After proving that the actions of the staff constitute negligence, they can help you file a claim against the nursing home for the losses you incurred as a result of their mistreatment. They can also assess your financial and emotional damages and seek fair compensation on your behalf. In most cases, lawyers can settle nursing home abuse cases out of court. However, they will go to trial to fight for your case, if necessary.
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Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one experienced mistreatment at a Kansas City nursing home, you do not have to suffer in silence. Abuse and neglect can lead to financial and emotional distress, and you have a right to hold the facility responsible for the damages they caused.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we do not shy away from tough cases. We also do not charge you unless we win the lawsuit or receive a settlement. Contact us today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case with us.