Families often feel emotional about choosing a nursing home for their loved one. While many spouses, parents, and other family members have the desire to care for their loved one on their own, their busy lives can make providing for them around the clock a challenge.
Nursing home staff members have an obligation to provide comprehensive care that meets each resident’s specific needs and to treat each resident with dignity and respect, and facilities that allow the mistreatment of residents can face legal repercussions.
If you witnessed the abuse of a loved one or suspect that it has occurred, a Los Angeles verbal or emotional abuse lawyer can help you investigate your case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 to speak with our legal team about seeking compensation.
How Verbal or Emotional Abuse Can Affect Nursing Home Residents
Elderly people often suffer from conditions that make them vulnerable to abuse. These factors contribute to the vulnerability of the elderly to experience abuse. Other conditions, such as dementia, make older people easier targets, as they may not have the full capacity to defend themselves or to report their mistreatment.
Signs of Abuse
If you suspect that your loved one has suffered abuse, they may exhibit certain signs that warrant a closer look at the level of care they receive. Verbal and emotional abuse, which may include threats, harassment, belittling, and other methods by which nursing staff attempts to exert control over residents, often happens behind closed doors when family members cannot witness it.
Certain behaviors often correlate with abuse, especially when they occur abruptly. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), they may include:
- Appearing depressed or withdrawn
- Displaying physical signs of trauma, such as rocking back and forth
- Acting aggressively or becomes violent
- Experiencing sudden weight loss
In some cases, nursing homes may also try to prevent residents from receiving visitors as a means of punishment through social isolation. If you witnessed these or other signs of mistreatment in your loved one, a Los Angeles verbal or emotional abuse lawyer can help you hold the facility accountable.
Consequences of Abuse
Verbal and emotional abuse can have a serious impact on the health and well-being of older people in nursing homes. One of the more immediate effects often occurs in the form of mental health concerns, which can arise when nursing home staff consistently mistreat and abandon residents and their needs. The victim may feel that they somehow caused their abuse and require psychiatric care or counseling to help them recover.
The Rights of Nursing Home Patients
The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) of 1987 protects nursing home residents from abuse by outlining the legal requirements for facilities in the United States and the services they provide. The federal legislation emphasizes the right of residents to remain free from all types of abuse and neglect, which amount to criminal behavior in any setting.
Residents do not relinquish their right to protection against criminal acts in nursing homes, and when caregivers knowingly or unintentionally mistreat residents, victims and their families can hold them responsible for the harm they caused.
Some of the other basic entitlements of nursing home residents explicitly stated in the NHRA include the right to:
- Accommodation of all physical, emotional, and social needs
- Visit with friends and family
- Participate in social activities at the facility
- Exercise autonomy, particularly in regard to their care plans
- File complaints without the threat of punishment
In some cases, nursing homes may blame instances of abuse and neglect on understaffing. The NHRA also set forth federal regulations regarding adequate staffing requirements, and California established additional requirements, as well.
State standards include a specific minimum for nursing professionals based on population to prevent residents from suffering the effects of understaffing. If your loved one suffered mistreatment that you suspect may stem from understaffing, a Los Angeles verbal or emotional abuse lawyer can help you gather more information and build a case.
For a free legal consultation with an verbal or emotional abuse lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 842-6336
Financial Awards for Nursing Home Abuse
Elderly victims of nursing home abuse may qualify for compensation. Types of financial awards vary by case, but they may include payment for:
- Medical bills and other healthcare expenses related to the abuse
- Pain and suffering or mental anguish
- The cost of relocation
- Funeral and burial costs if the abuse resulted in the loss of a loved one
- Loss of consortium for the surviving spouse
Los Angeles Verbal Or Emotional Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for Help
No matter the circumstances, nursing homes cannot excuse instances of abuse or neglect. These homes exist with the sole purpose of providing quality care to those who need it most, and they have a legal obligation to meet the individual needs of each resident in a manner that respects their dignity. When staff members fail to do so, serious harm can result.
If you think your loved one may have experienced verbal or emotional abuse as a nursing home resident, the attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you fight for your case. Call us today at (800) 842-6336 to talk to our legal team about your free case evaluation.