Maryland Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys
Serving those in Prince Georges, Charles, Calvert & Anne Arundel
Tens of thousands of senior Marylanders live in nursing home, assisted living, hospice care and other similar facilities. We all want the best for our elder loved ones, but they are sometimes subjected to physical and emotional abuse at the very place we trust to care for them.
Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Potter Burnett Law proudly fight for the rights of our seniors in Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, Charles County, Baltimore, and in the Maryland/Washington, D.C. metro area.
Defining Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
It is defined as any “single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”
When putting your loved one in an assisted living facility or nursing home, you are normally ensured that staff will provide excellent care. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as elders are often subjected to various forms of abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
Many families at some point must face the difficult decision of whether to place a loved one in an assisted living facility or nursing home. As in nature, the older or weaker of the pack can often fall victim to predators.
Many seniors with physical or cognitive difficulties are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect. In some cases, overmedication and improper distribution of medication can increase an elder’s risk of being subjected to abuse.
Some of the signs of senior abuse and neglect include:
- Physical injuries
- Emotional distress
- Overdue bills that were thought to be paid
- Unexplained broken bones, cuts, and bruises
- Bed sores or pressure sores
- Missing money or property
- Fear of the caregiver
- Unexplained transactions or withdrawals
- Hygiene issues and unexplained odors
- Excessive weight loss
- Malnutrition and dehydration
Additional Signs to Look Out For
Physical signs of abuse are the easiest to see, but seniors also endure:
- Inadequate medical care
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- And financial exploitation while in the care of some extended-care facilities
How to Choose a Nursing Home
There is no way to 100% prevent any possibility of abuse, but it is important to do research when choosing a home for your loved one. Assisted living facilities providing personal care and some health services average $4,150 per month.
Those needing 24/7 support and higher levels of care may require skilled nursing homes and dementia units that can run more than $9,000 monthly. How much you pay monthly is not necessarily an indicator of how likely abuse is at that facility.
Before placing an elder in a facility, review the contract and fully understand the policies, procedures, and costs of the center.
Asking these questions can also be helpful when choosing a care facility:
- Is the facility licensed by a state agency?
- What’s the ratio of residents to staff members?
- Do the residents seem happy and well cared for?
- What medical professionals are on staff, and what’s their availability?
- Who gives residents their medications?
- Can people receive visits from their doctors or home healthcare providers?
- Which services are included, and which are offered at an extra charge?
- Is transportation provided to doctor appointments?
- What kind of recreational activities are offered?
When selecting a nursing home facility for your loved one, it is important to take reviews into consideration. Facilities that have high scores in health, cleanliness, staff, and quality measures tend to offer higher quality care as opposed to ones with lower scores.
How to Handle Suspected Abuse
In Maryland and Washington D.C., there are laws designed to protect seniors from nursing home and assisted living facility abuse and neglect. Nursing homes can be held liable both civilly and criminally if they fail to uphold residents’ rights and protect their health and safety.
Reporting Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene monitors these facilities, which must abide by the Code of Maryland Regulations and have policies and procedures in place to help prevent abuse and neglect. When you fear the facility is not properly caring for your loved one, make sure to document everything you see and hear related to the potential abuse.
Write down the names of staff members. Address your concerns with the home’s management. If there is imminent danger, call 9-1-1 and file a complaint. Contact an advocate through aging.Maryland.gov. They are responsible for investigating abuse and neglect claims. We also encourage you to reach out to one of our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Potter Burnett Law.
If you believe your loved one has fallen victim to nursing home abuse, negligence, or some form of injury while under the care of a long-term care facility, contact us today. Schedule a consultation through our online contact form or by calling (301) 804-6784.
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