Elderly people are vulnerable and may be easily taken advantage of, especially in health-related settings. Entrusting the care of a loved one to a nursing home requires a great deal of confidence in the staff and the facility managers. Some people take advantage of the trust that families have in them. Any type of abuse occurring at a nursing home, whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or financial, must be stopped immediately. If you have a loved one in a Montana nursing home and you think someone is abusing or neglecting them, contact the Montana nursing home abuse lawyers at Odegaard Miller Injury Lawyers for help.
Caregivers mistreat as many as 2 million people over the age of 65 in the United States each year. Unfortunately, it is estimated that people only report 1 of every 14 incidents of nursing home abuse to authorities, with physical abuse as the most common abuse reported. People older than 80 and people suffering from dementia are at the highest risk of suffering abuse. Of patients with dementia, 47% have suffered some type of abuse. A study detailed by NAELA of 2,000 nursing homes revealed that approximately 44% of elderly people suffer nursing home abuse and 95% of the cases of abuse go unreported.
The first indication of nursing home abuse is a seemingly inexplicable change in your loved one's mood or demeanor. If your loved one is more depressed or irritable than usual, and he or she is reluctant to discuss the situation, you are right to wonder why. Along with general changes in mood, there are more specific signs of abuse.
Nursing home residents may suffer from caregiver neglect. Though neglect is not as direct as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, it can be just as serious.
Elderly people can also be subject to financial abuse. Elderly people can be especially vulnerable to financial abuse because they often are not able to keep as careful track of their finances as they once were, trusting family and caregivers to take care of their financial situations.
One type of nursing home abuse is neglecting care. People in nursing homes often need assistance in many different aspects of their daily lives. Restraint is a controversial and tricky subject in conversations about nursing home treatment. When a patient is a danger to him or herself or to others, the staff must exercise good judgment in deciding the extent of restraint to use. Most nursing homes try to use physical restraints as little as possible, as restraints can be physically and emotionally painful for the resident. Either overuse of restraints or failing to use restraints when called for are both forms of abuse. If a resident is hurting him or herself or others and staff members ignore it, they are exposing the residents and staff to potential physical harm.
Bedsores commonly develop when a person who is confined to bed has been left in the same position too long. They occur from constant pressure on the same area of the body, leading to tissue damage. If a nursing home resident has difficulty with mobility, he or she may need a staff member to help move to avoid developing painful bedsores. If a resident develops bedsores, the staff is neglecting him or her because they are failing to do what is necessary by helping the resident move to a different position on a regular schedule. The nursing home staff has the duty to keep residents as safe, healthy, and happy as possible. Caretaker neglect is a form of nursing home abuse.
An average-sized nursing home reports 200 falls every year. Injuries from falls can range from a bruise to some broken bones or worse. However, nursing home staff members are required to do everything they can to prevent residents from falling. If they do not clean up a spill, fix unstable stairs, or fail to remedy any other potentially dangerous condition, they are neglecting the residents.
Some elderly people struggle with remembering to drink and eat an adequate amount. The nursing home is responsible for ensuring that residents are drinking enough water and eating enough food. If the resident shows signs of suffering from dehydration or malnutrition, it is the responsibility of the nursing home staff to be aware of the condition and do whatever it takes to make sure the resident is receiving the proper daily nutrition.
Physical and sexual assaults are serious offenses in any circumstances. Assaults on elderly people in nursing homes by staff members are one of the worst forms of abuse. There is no circumstance that justifies a caregiver taking advantage of his or her power to assault a resident. Assault is a very severe form of nursing home abuse.
Often, a nursing home resident is on one or more medications. Many residents struggle with remembering to take their medications and remembering the proper dosage. The nursing home staff is responsible for making sure that each resident takes the correct type and dose of his or her medication. It can be serious to miss a dose or take the wrong dose, sometimes even leading to death. It is vital that caregivers are attentive and careful about medications. Failing to help residents with their medications is a form of caregiver neglect.
If someone at a nursing home is abusing your loved one, you have the right to file a claim against the nursing home. However, it can be difficult to prove nursing home abuse. Many of the elderly victims have a hard time identifying if a caregiver is abusing them and may not know how to communicate it to authorities. It is important that you keep an eye out for the signs, because it is possible that someone at a nursing home is abusing your loved one and he or she is not telling you.
If you want to file a claim against a nursing home, you must prove that the facility had a duty to keep your loved one safe, that it breached that obligation, and the nursing home's breach of this responsibility directly caused your loved one's injuries. You can help prove that the nursing home staff is abusing your loved one with photos of bruises, marks, and other physical signs of abuse. A lawyer can be an invaluable ally in proving that abuse has occurred by calling on a network of medical consultants who can determine if abuse has taken place.
The court can award your loved one damages for any financial burdens caused by abuse sustained in the nursing home. Some of the financial expenses the court could compensate your loved one for include:
The court could award damages to cover almost any expenses incurred because of the damage he or she suffered from the nursing home abuse.
If your loved one is experiencing abuse in his or her nursing home in Montana, you need an experienced Montana nursing home abuse lawyer who will fight for your family. The lawyers at Odegaard Miller Injury Lawyers have helped people all over Montana recover from a wide range of wrongful events. Our determined and compassionate lawyers have established a successful track record with even the most difficult and complex cases. We can offer you a free consultation so you can meet our team before deciding if we are the right team to represent you and your loved one. We charge on a contingency-fee basis, which means we will not charge you anything unless we win your case.
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