Most families make the difficult decision to place their loved one in a nursing home to ensure they receive appropriate care and attention. However, statistics show that abuse of seniors in nursing homes is on the rise. These elderly seniors deserve to receive appropriate treatment and care, free from abuse or neglect.
There are several ways that an elderly resident of a nursing home may suffer from abuse. If you believe your elderly loved one suffered abuse as a resident of a nursing home, contact a Forest Park nursing home abuse lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help with filing a claim on behalf of your loved one.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Elderly residents can suffer many different types of nursing home abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. Many nursing home staff employees with authority or control over another take advantage of their position of power. Unfortunately, this can translate into several different types of abuse toward the elderly in nursing homes.
Physical abuse of elderly residents in nursing homes is most often spoken of and is prevalent throughout the United States. Elderly people tend to be frailer and have cognitive dysfunctions, leading them to easily suffer abuse at the hands of nursing home workers. Make sure to always look for signs of physical abuse in your elderly loved one when you visit them in their nursing home. Unexplained bruises, cuts, or broken bones can be a sign of abuse.
Bedsores or advanced infections can signal nursing home neglect, which is a form of physical abuse. If your elderly loved one does appear to suffer from some form of physical abuse, alert management immediately and contact Adult Protective Services and the police if necessary.
Elderly residents of nursing homes remain particularly vulnerable to emotional abuse. They are often unable to defend themselves against verbal assaults. In many cases, their cognitive challenges make them unable to understand what the nursing home employees want them to do, and then the employees become frustrated, leading to verbal intimidations, threats, or simply yelling at them. Any time a nursing home resident suffers from any type of insults, berating language, shaming, mocking, insulting language, or abusive statements, they suffer from emotional abuse.
These types of emotional abuse can devastate seniors as they have no way to fight back, and in some cases simply do not understand why they are enduring this abuse due to either dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These elderly residents completely rely on the nursing home staff for their daily needs such as food, water, and help to go to the bathroom. When they feel intimidated in their own living environment, life can become a nightmare.
If you visit your elderly loved one and notice that they seem to exhibit strange behaviors, you may want to investigate the nursing home to determine if your elderly loved one is suffering from emotional abuse. These strange behaviors include:
- Emotional outbursts
- An unwillingness to spend time with family or friends
In some cases, sexual abuse occurs from the management, but it may also occur from other nursing home residents or third-party persons who enter the building. As many seniors have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they simply do not understand what is happening to them or may not remember that they endured this abuse following the attack. These elderly persons are frail and unable to defend themselves and remain vulnerable to these types of horrific attacks.
If you visit your elderly loved one and receive information that they developed a sexually transmitted disease, you should have serious cause for concern that they may be suffering from sexual abuse. If you notice that they have any physical trauma to their genitals, ripped or torn clothing, the inability to stand or sit comfortably, or visible pain when walking, you should immediately contact the management of the nursing home, Adult Protective Services, and the police.
Another type of abuse that nursing home residents may suffer is financial abuse. Many elderly residents of nursing homes still maintain control over parts of their finances. Manipulative nursing home staff members may attempt to coerce your elderly loved one into giving them their credit card, checks, debit cards, or cash. In more serious cases of manipulation, the nursing home staff member may attempt to have your elderly loved one move assets into their name or change their estate planning documents.
You should periodically check in on the finances of your elderly loved one to make sure that nothing changed drastically. If you do discover that your loved one had their finances manipulated, you should immediately contact the nursing home management to alert them of the situation.
Forest Park Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
If someone you care about was injured while living in a nursing home, it could be devastating. Pain, suffering, and expensive medical bills are but a few of the many problems that injuries can cause.
Your family member deserves justice if they were the victim of an injury that may not have been their fault. Each case is unique, but they may be entitled to compensation. Types of losses your loved one may be able to recover include:
- Medical bills
- Transportation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical bills
A Forest Park nursing home injury lawyer may be able to help you explore the possibility of taking legal action for different types of losses. Call a member of the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm team to learn more.
Injuries in Nursing Homes
Injuries in nursing homes happen to thousands of elderly residents every year. Sometimes injuries happen by accident, such as a fall. Other times, nursing home staff’s abuse or neglect may cause an injury.
Older Americans are vulnerable to injury for several reasons. As we age, our bodies deteriorate both physically and mentally. An impaired mental state can lead to confusion and difficulty in making safe decisions. This can put you in dangerous situations and at a higher risk of injury.
The body also does not heal as we get older, so every injury can become something very serious. Weakened bones caused by conditions such as osteoporosis, a decrease in blood flow and cellular function, and less muscle mass contribute to longer recovery periods for the elderly.
In some cases, abuse or neglect can lead to injury. Abuse is when someone intentionally harms a person. This could be a nursing home staff member physically hurting a resident. Neglect is when someone fails to provide adequate or appropriate care. An example of neglect could be an employee at a nursing home forgetting to dry a floor after mopping, causing the surface to be slippery and dangerous to residents.
If your loved one suffered injuries while living in a nursing home, you and your family could be eligible for financial compensation. The Nursing Home Reform Act states that nursing homes must provide adequate care for residents to the best of their ability. Cases of abuse and neglect are in direct violation of this federal law and subject to legal claims if violated.
If you are considering taking legal action following your loved one’s injury, it may benefit you to hire a lawyer to handle your case while you focus on their recovery. A Forest Park nursing home injury lawyer is available to discuss your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation with a team member.
Most Common Injuries in Nursing Homes
Nursing home injuries vary in severity and recovery time. One of the most common accidents that can lead to injury is falling. A National Institute of Health (NIH) study found that there was an average of 1.5 falls in the nursing home reported for each bed in a facility annually. This means a nursing home with 100 beds will average about 150 falls per year.
Over 3 million older adults in America are treated in hospitals for falling every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Falls can lead to fractures or broken hips. Broken hips are one of the most common injuries in nursing home residents, which can be very serious or even fatal. Some other common nursing home injuries may include:
- Bruising, cuts, wounds
- Complications due to medicine administration error
This is not a full list of injuries that can occur while in the care of a nursing home facility. Any injury you or a loved one suffered should be taken seriously by getting medical care as necessary.
What to Do if a Loved One Was Injured
The most important thing you can do if a loved one was injured is to seek help. If their injury is serious, find someone to help call first responders and get them transported to a hospital. In any case, you should consult with a doctor or medical professional for guidance on how best to treat the injury. Their health should be everyone’s primary focus following an injury.
If you have reason to believe that a loved one was injured in a nursing home and it may not have been their fault, you may benefit from speaking with a Forest Park nursing home injury lawyer about the case. The circumstances surrounding every injury are unique, but your loved one could be eligible for financial compensation.
Your loved one should not have to pay the price of an injury that might be due to the negligence of another. The responsible party should be held responsible. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has worked on cases like yours, and may be able to help.
Forest Park Nursing Home Accident Lawyer
Nursing home accidents can cause serious injuries or death. In some cases, an accident stems from a pattern of nursing home neglect or abuse. If a loved one is the victim of a nursing home accident, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your potential legal case with a Forest Park nursing home accident lawyer.
Long-Term Effects of Nursing Home Accidents
Nursing home accidents can have long-term effects that can complicate seniors’ health and treatment options. The long-term effect of an accident can also lead to permanent conditions. The length of the effect depends on the severity of the injury. For example, a fall could lead to bruising and some pain. A more severe fall can lead to a broken hip, surgery, and/or trouble walking.
Since seniors are in a fragile state, any injury can have severe outcomes. In the worst cases, these injuries can even lead to death. However, many injuries can have lingering effects other than death. The key to preventing more serious injuries is to ensure that your loved ones are receiving proper care from their facility.
Causes of Nursing Home Accidents
There are many potential causes of nursing home accidents. One of the leading causes of nursing home accidents is understaffing. When there are too few caregivers to support the number of patients in a facility, the quality of care is compromised. Caregivers spend less time with each person that they must care for, limiting the number of services that they can provide. This is often how problems like poor hygiene and falls occur since there is no one around to offer aid and support.
Another potential cause of nursing home accidents is a loss of cognitive ability. Over time, seniors may experience a loss of cognitive functions, including reasoning skills, demonstrating poor judgment, and having a limited ability to move on their own. This can make seniors prone to accidents as they begin to experience physical problems and make small mistakes. It is not uncommon for seniors to fall from missing a chair when sitting down or forgetting to take medication. Seniors that experience cognitive impairments may need specialized care and treatment to avoid injuring themselves or others.
Possibly Recoverable Compensation
If your loved one is involved in a nursing home accident, they may be able to recover compensation based on costs related to the accident. This will likely require your loved one to file a lawsuit against the nursing facility. Your loved one may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and legal fees.
Pain and suffering damages are a category where the liable party pays for the physical, emotional, and mental damages caused by the accident. The amount that you could receive for pain and suffering depends entirely on the judge’s discretion. However, pain and suffering compensation is not guaranteed, as the judge could decide that it is not warranted based on the situation.
It is possible that your loved one will receive compensation for medical expenses. This includes any expenses for medical treatment related to the case. Any doctor’s fees to treat the injury, medical procedures, medications, or other forms of care can be included. However, your lawyer must be able to provide the right documentation to prove that the services were necessary and a result of your loved one’s injury. Nursing home accident lawyers may be able to find those documents and ensure that medical procedures and other expenses can be recovered.
To get the compensation that your family deserves, the assistance of a nursing home accident lawyer is required. Your lawyer can find and file the proper evidence and manage other aspects of your family member’s case so that you can focus on their recovery.
Statute of Limitations
If you plan to file a lawsuit against a nursing home for an accident injury, do it sooner than later. The statute of limitations for filing a nursing home accident lawsuit is two years in Illinois. If you wait too long, you will not be able to file the lawsuit at all. Filing sooner also makes it easier for your lawyer to find the evidence that he or she needs for your case. Documentation and witnesses can quickly disappear if the case takes too long to develop, making it harder for your lawyer to win your case.
Reasons to Hire a Forest Park Nursing Home Accident Lawyer
Hiring a nursing home accident lawyer is important when dealing with an accident or elder abuse. Your lawyer can build a compelling case against the nursing home. Without the assistance of a lawyer that handles nursing home accidents or elder abuse, there is a limited chance that you can win the case.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Forest Park, call (800) 794-0444
Contact Us Today for Your Free Consultation
If your elderly loved one in a nursing home suffered from any form of physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse, they have legal rights. Elderly residents of nursing homes are frail and weak and simply cannot defend themselves. However, they all deserve dignity and respect. Contact a Forest Park nursing home abuse lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you determine your next best steps to ensure your elderly loved one’s legal rights remain protected following any incident of abuse or neglect.