Many Missouri families trust nursing homes to take care of their elderly loved ones. While many nursing homes offer outstanding care, others do not. Should you suspect that your elderly relative is a nursing home abuse victim, a Jefferson County nursing home abuse attorney can help.
About 10,000 of us in the U.S. turn age 65 every day. In less than a decade, almost one in five of us will be 65 or older. Every one of us needs to know about the abuse of the elderly and recognize its signs.
Our older loved ones deserve respect. Sometimes, however, what the elderly get instead is abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Nursing home abuse is a tragedy in our state and nation. It can rapidly lead to a resident’s dehydration, malnutrition, or a deteriorating medical condition.
What are the Laws Regarding Nursing Home Abuse?
In far too many cases, Missouri nursing home residents have been the victims of emotional, physical, and sometimes sexual abuse. These nursing home residents are increasingly targeted for financial exploitation such as theft and forgery.
What are the laws regarding nursing home abuse in Missouri? What recourse do victims and their families have? What are their rights? Can the victims of nursing home abuse be compensated? Will abuse victims and their families need an attorney’s advice and services?
If you’ll keep reading, you will learn the answers to these questions, and you’ll learn more about the tragedy of abuse in nursing homes.
What Causes Nursing Home Abuse?
At some Missouri nursing homes, employees are overworked, undertrained, and underpaid. When the owner of a nursing home cuts corners in terms of training, staffing, and pay, neglect and abuse are likely.
Owners have a right to profit, but that profit should not come at the expense of their residents. At least one underlying cause of nursing home abuse and neglect is the unwillingness of some nursing home owners to pay the cost of proper training and adequate staffing.
Nursing home negligence and abuse, over time, may trigger a slow decline in a resident’s medical condition. A wrongful death is sometimes the result. Abuse victims and their families are legally entitled to compensation when nursing home abuse takes place in Missouri.
If You Have a Loved One in a Nursing Home
If you have a disabled or elderly family member who resides in a nursing home, your family should keep open lines of communication with the nursing home’s staff, make surprise visits frequently, and remain alert to any indications of negligence, mistreatment, or abuse.
Even in the highest-rated nursing homes, it’s vital for family members to be on the lookout for any possible signs of neglect or abuse.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?
Elder abuse, according to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, is any “mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person.” Sadly, however, reports of nursing home abuse are increasing. Nursing home abuse or neglect may include but isn’t limited to:
- dehydration and malnutrition
- ulcers or bedsores
- verbal, emotional, physical, or even sexual abuse
- theft and financial exploitation
- unwarranted restraint
- failure to monitor nursing home residents
- abuse or malpractice and the ensuing medical complications
Whatever places residents at risk, neglects their rights, or denies their human dignity may be defined as nursing home abuse. If you have a loved one in a Missouri nursing home, look for bedsores, bruises, cuts, mood swings, a sudden loss of weight, or a sudden medical emergency.
What Do Bed Sores Indicate?
Bedsores are typically a clear sign that a nursing home isn’t providing standard care. These sores form when the blood flow to the skin is reduced because of unrelieved pressure on a particular spot, causing the surrounding tissue to die.
Nursing home employees can simply turn patients in their beds to prevent bedsores. Quite candidly, a failure to perform a task this simple is unacceptable and probably indicates that neglect is widespread at that specific nursing home.
Another sign of neglect is inadequate dental care. If you are choosing a nursing home for an elderly loved one, be sure to find out what type of dental care is provided.
What About Financial Exploitation?
Along with other types of abuse, some nursing home employees have taken advantage of residents for their own financial gain. Financial exploitation of the elderly can include:
- forging a signature
- the theft of cash, jewelry, or other valuables
- tricking or intimidating someone into signing a check, a contract, or a will
- unauthorized check cashing
If you discover any clear indication of neglect, abuse, or financial exploitation, or if you have good reasons to suspect neglect or abuse at a Missouri nursing home, take action now and schedule a no-cost legal consultation with a Missouri nursing home abuse lawyer.
Missouri nursing homes have liability – they’re legally responsible – for the safety and well-being of the residents. When these residents are neglected, isolated, or put at risk, residents and families may sue a nursing home’s owners as well as the employees responsible for the abuse.
If You Find Nursing Home Abuse, Who Can Help?
It cannot be stressed strongly enough that most nursing homes in Missouri are professionally maintained and extraordinarily well-managed, but nursing home neglect and abuse can never be tolerated.
There is no reason why any Missouri nursing home resident should receive anything other than the highest-quality care. Reporting abuse of the elderly is everyone’s duty, and when families sue nursing homes on behalf of a loved one, they’re also helping to deter future incidents of abuse.
If your own loved one is a nursing home abuse victim in Missouri – or if you have strong suspicions, but you’re not sure – put your concerns in the hands of a Jefferson County nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
What Will It Cost to Seek Justice?
You’ll need personalized legal advice from the moment you suspect nursing home abuse. Your first consultation with a Jefferson County nursing home abuse lawyer is offered without cost or obligation.
If your family brings an injury claim against a nursing home’s owners and staff, you will pay no attorney’s fee unless and until your attorney recovers compensation on behalf of your elderly loved one.
There is no higher priority than our family members, and a nursing home abuse attorney is the person who can help you protect an elderly family member. If you find ongoing nursing home negligence, mistreatment, or abuse, make the call to a nursing home abuse attorney at once.