Many millions of Americans are being cared for in nursing homes. The number of people likely to need care in one of these institutions is expected to rise over the next few decades.
Unfortunately, not every resident who is in a nursing home is treated to a dedicated and caring environment. In fact, high numbers of elders across Long Island have suffered from nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect.
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, you should contact a knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer at The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, as soon as possible.
Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.
As discussed by the Administration on Aging, elder abuse can occur in many forms. In nursing homes, abuse often occurs as:
Nursing home residents may not be capable of expressing themselves as well as they would like. In fact, some people who are in a situation of abuse are too frightened to reveal what is happening to them. However, there are several signs of nursing home abuse that may cause you to suspect that not everything is as it should be.
These signs include malnutrition, dehydration and physical indications, such as bedsores, bruising and broken bones. You are in the best position to know whether any of these signs are suspicious. In some cases, they may appear because of an underlying illness that has already been diagnosed, or because the resident has had an accident. However, they can also indicate neglect or physical violence being inflicted on the elder.
Signs of malnutrition should be taken very seriously, particularly if there is no history of illness that could cause this condition. It is important to use an independent medical practitioner to give an informed diagnosis of the cause of malnutrition.
Nursing home abuse sometimes occurs in the form of neglect of the resident’s basic needs, such as a proper diet or proper feeding times. Denial of food is also used by staff in some cases to “punish” a nursing home resident for behavior that the staff member does not like.
Bedsores or pressure ulcers are caused by lying in one position for too long, and they often appear when elders have been ill or in the hospital. Bedsores are preventable. If your loved one has them, it may be a sign that he or she is not getting enough care and attention.
Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in nursing home and other long-term care facilities have a duty to provide care that meets a required standard. When they fail to do so, nursing home negligence has occurred, and the law provides for civil claims for damages.
More serious signs of abuse and neglect include bruising or broken bones, which could indicate that a resident has been deliberately harmed – either actually struck or knocked over, or neglected to the extent that the resident has suffered a fall without any medical treatment being given.
Nursing homes have a strict duty of care to residents. These facilities can be held responsible for:
Third parties may be liable for nursing home injuries in some cases. For example, if a medical device, wheelchair or gurney malfunctions and causes injury to a resident, the manufacturer or an outside company that maintains the equipment for the facility may be responsible.
It is important to know what steps to take if you suspect nursing home abuse. The basic actions to take are:
Elders deserve to live their last years of life in safety and dignity without fear of abuse. Nursing homes must be licensed to operate, which is meant to ensure that their residents are treated with diligence and care.
If you suspect that any type of nursing home abuse has been occurring, contact Richard S. Jaffe at The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, as soon as possible for a free consultation. Mr. Jaffe will be able to give you clear and knowledgeable advice about whether you have reasonable grounds to file a lawsuit against the home concerned. It is often the success of such lawsuits that helps to maintain higher standards of care among nursing home facilities.