Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Legal representation for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in: Prince Georges County, Charles County, Anne Arundel County, and the Maryland/DC/Metro area.
Each year millions of families are faced with the most difficult decision about placing a parent or grandparent in an assisted living facility or nursing home. As in nature, the older or weaker of the pack can often fall victim to predators. It is an unfortunate reality that many senior citizens not only endure physical abuse, but emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect while in the care of these extended care facilities.
Millions of seniors experience some form of abuse annually. Studies suggest that seniors who are well cared for live longer than those that have been abused. If you believe your loved one has fallen victim to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, please contact Potter Burnett Law. Signs of abuse include:
- Falls and Fractures
- Unexplained broken bones, cuts, and bruises
- Severe emotional distress
- Missing money or property
- Fear of the caregiver
- Unexplained odors and excessive weight loss
- Malnutrition & Dehydration
Falls and Fractures
Nursing homes are required to take precautions to ensure that they are operating a safe facility with minimal fall hazards. If a resident falls, the injury sustained has the potential to significantly impact their everyday lives. If you have a loved one who has recently fallen and broken a bone at a nursing facility, we will carefully review your case to determine if negligence was the cause.
Unexplained Broken Bones, Cuts, and Bruises
Some 90% of broken bones suffered by individuals under Nursing Home care are a direct result of falling. While mostly unavoidable, it’s an unfortunate reality that a number of broken bones, cuts, or bruises can also be a direct result of nursing home abuse or neglect. Due to the general forgetfulness, weakness of muscles, and other contributing factors, it’s difficult to determine which injuries are innocent and which came as a direct result of improper care. Broken bones are the most obvious examples of improper care as they will have the longest lasting pain and discomfort. Rest assured, unexplained cuts and bruises should also be noted, questioned, and followed up on if they continue to appear.
In most cases, it may take both medical, and legal experts to analyze the specific situation and determine the root cause of the injuries to your loved one.
Severe Emotional Distress
Occasionally, nursing home patients will fall victim to intentional inflictions of emotional distress. While symptoms may be difficult to identify, psychological abuse can take a variety of forms, such as humiliation, scapegoating, isolating or ignoring an elder. In such cases, victims may be able to receive compensation for the events.
Bedsores are an all too common occurrence for seniors who are experiencing neglect or negligence in assisted care. If a facility does not follow the proper medical standards and protocol for caring for our elderly, sores can develop and lead to further health issues for the senior. Bedsores are often a result of neglect, failure to reposition the patient, improper hygiene, improper procedure, insufficient nutrition, and inefficient or outdated equipment at the facility.
Missing Money or Property
While under the care of a nursing home facility, your family members or loved ones may be subject to non-physical abuse. This comes in the form of financial abuse in attempts to secure some of the patient’s money or property. Historically, the elderly have felt pressure to revise wills, deeds, and trusts to compensate their care providers. It doesn’t stop there, nursing home patients have withdrawn cash from accounts, or taken out loans that were then turned over to their caregivers.
Nursing Home patients have reported loss or theft of personal property, in this case, file a police report immediately, and then contact a legal professional to assist you in the matter.
Fear of a Caregiver
A nursing home patient who is the victim of any form of abuse or neglect will likely grow fearful of a caregiver. If your loved one is showing signs that indicate fear such as acting disconnected from family and friends or acting out in a different way, they may be receiving poor and unlawful treatment. Potter Burnett Law will carefully review and evidence or signs to ensure that the patient is placed out of harm’s way and receives justice where due.
Unexplained Odors and Excessive Weight Loss
Sudden weight loss or unexplained odors in nursing home residents can be a cause for concern and sadly, this problem is very prevalent in nursing homes. Nursing facility residents often have chronic diseases and functional impairments that impair proper nutrition and hydration and require interventions by facility staff. However, when facility staff fails to intervene or assist, this can be considered a case of nursing home neglect.
Elderly individuals with weight loss are at higher risk for functional decline, hip fractures, and mortality. Consequences of weight loss also may include muscle wasting, infections, and increased risk of pressure ulcers.
Malnutrition & Dehydration
If your loved one is showing signs that he or she is suffering from malnutrition or dehydration, they may not be receiving the appropriate attention and care at their nursing facility. Signs of malnutrition and dehydration include unintentional weight loss, dry skin, loss of muscle mass, dizziness, bedsores, or a sore mouth. If you believe your loved one is suffering from malnutrition or dehydration, contact our pride to investigate the case for you.