People whose relatives live in nursing homes expect their family members to receive appropriate care. They expect employees to be well trained and compassionate. They expect staff members to address their loved ones’ physical and emotional needs with patience and respect.
Unfortunately, that is often not the case. Nursing home abuse and neglect are common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In some cases, residents are injured by deliberate abuse committed by staff members or other residents. In other instances, residents of long-term care facilities are injured because of neglect, either intentional or unintentional.
If your loved one was hurt while living in a long-term care facility, a Tulsa nursing home injury lawyer may be able to help your family seek justice. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has helped residents who were abused and neglected in facilities across the United States pursue financial compensation for their injuries. Call our office today to discuss your legal options with a member of our staff.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse That Can Cause Injuries
Senior citizens who live in long-term care facilities may experience abuse, such as hitting or pushing. Residents may be abused by frustrated or overwhelmed staff members or by fellow residents, including those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and who therefore do not understand that their actions are wrong and that they can cause harm to another person.
Surprisingly, sexual abuse is a serious problem in nursing homes, and one that is dramatically underreported, according to The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. Residents are vulnerable due to their physical and cognitive disabilities. Some staff members prey upon people who are unable to defend themselves and who are unable to speak about what happened to them, or who are too afraid to do so. Employees are not always the abusers. In some cases, fellow residents, repair and maintenance workers, vendors, and family members and friends of other residents commit sexual abuse.
Nursing homes typically have numerous patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as serious physical limitations. According to Human Rights Watch, staff members who feel overwhelmed by the demands of their jobs and by understaffing frequently give residents antipsychotic drugs that they do not need to keep them docile.
Abuse can cause a wide range of injuries. Physical assaults can result in bruises, cuts, scrapes, broken bones, concussions, and back and neck injuries. Sexual abuse can leave victims with bruises, bleeding, and sexually transmitted infections. Unnecessary medications can interact with prescriptions patients need and may cause serious health problems, and even death.
The emotional effects of abuse can also be traumatic. Residents may live in fear of an abuser but may worry that they could suffer even worse abuse if they were to speak out. They may feel trapped and helpless and may become withdrawn, depressed, and even suicidal.
How Nursing Home Residents Can Be Injured by Neglect
Senior citizens who live in long-term care facilities often suffer because of neglect. For example, staff members may not provide a resident with the foods that his or her doctor ordered because employees were not trained on the resident’s treatment plan. Workers may not have enough time to feed people who need assistance because of understaffing. Patients therefore may not get enough food or may be in danger of choking while eating.
Employees who are struggling to care for residents in an understaffed facility may not take residents to the bathroom as needed. A senior citizen may, therefore, develop an infection, or an individual may attempt to go to the bathroom without assistance, fall, and get injured.
Nursing home residents often take several prescription medications. They need to be carefully administered so that patients receive the right drugs in the right amounts at the right times. Due to understaffing, employees sometimes rush while administering prescriptions and make mistakes. Managers may instruct staff members who have not received appropriate training to give residents their medications due to understaffing. If an employee makes a mistake, residents can suffer serious and life-threatening injuries.
In some cases, neglect is intentional. For example, patients who are confined to bed must be moved regularly. If employees fail to follow protocols, a resident may develop painful bedsores, which can become infected and may lead to other problems.
If you believe that your family member was hurt because of abuse or neglect, a Tulsa nursing home injury lawyer may be able to obtain financial compensation. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to speak with a member of our team.
For a free legal consultation with an nursing home injury lawyer serving Tulsa, call (800) 794-0444
What Nursing Homes Should Do to Prevent Injuries
Long-term care facilities have a responsibility to identify potential causes of injuries and to take steps to prevent abuse and neglect. Managers should make sure that the individuals who work in their facilities have not been disciplined for abuse or neglect in the past.
Unfortunately, managers often rush through the screening process because of understaffing and high turnover rates. They may not conduct thorough background checks and may not be aware of an individual’s history of abuse and neglect, especially if the offenses occurred in another state. A nursing home that fails to perform its due diligence and that hires someone who has abused or neglected vulnerable people in the past may be held liable if that person harms others at the new facility.
Nursing homes should also have clear policies in place and should provide adequate training so that employees understand how to provide appropriate care. Staff members should be trained in standard protocols, as well as individual residents’ care plans. They should also be taught what to do if they witness abuse or neglect or suspect that a person in their care may be a victim.
Tulsa Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Get Legal Help to Seek Justice for Your Loved One
If your family member has suffered because of abuse or neglect in a long-term care facility, a Tulsa nursing home injury lawyer may be able to help your family seek justice. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has helped people across the United States obtain financial compensation for injuries they experienced due to the actions or negligence of others.
Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect and their families often hesitate to seek legal assistance because of concerns about the cost. You do not have to worry about that since Pintas & Mullins Law Firm works on contingency. Your family will not have to pay us anything unless we obtain a settlement on behalf of your loved one.
Because of Oklahoma Statute § 12-95, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is just two years. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today so our team can begin investigating and building a case as soon as possible.