What’s the difference between nursing home neglect and abuse?
Generally, nursing home neglect is the failure to meet a patient’s needs or provide appropriate care. Abuse rises to an even higher level, which is when a nursing home staff member (or members) takes steps that actually harm a patient in his care. There are four basic types of nursing home neglect:
The nursing home is required to provide food, water, and a safe, clean environment for each resident. If this does not happen, it is neglecting a resident’s basic needs.
The patient does not receive adequate assistance in order to have clean laundry, bathe, brush their teeth or complete other personal cleanliness habits.
Emotional or social
The patient is ignored or treated harshly or with a lack of empathy or understanding of her basic needs and feelings.
It is the role of a nursing home to provide medical attention, prevention and medication for bed sores, infections, cuts, complications from diabetes, cognitive diseases and mobility issues, as pertaining to the specific patient. Failure to provide proper attention to these needs would constitute medical neglect.
- the use of physical force,
- inappropriate use of restraints,
- ridicule or humiliation, manipulation,
- stealing money or bank account numbers,
- or a range of other behaviors.
If you suspect that is happening, you should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. A resident in a nursing home could experience physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse.
Working with McIntyre Law
A nursing home abuse attorney should have a keen understanding of both how to spot nursing home neglect or abuse and how to navigate the system to correct it and hold the appropriate people responsible. Don’t wait until a loved one becomes seriously ill, or even dies, before you call your nursing home neglect lawyer. McIntyre Law has a team of skilled attorneys who are ready to handle all of the ins and outs of the elder care system.
We’ll work fast to ensure that your loved one is treated with the care and respect she or he deserves through the twilight years. Aging is hard on everyone—the elderly person and the family. Dealing with the medical and financial challenges that come with old age is a lot, and when you entrust your spouse, parent or grandparent’s care to a nursing home, you should be able to expect that s/he will be treated properly and with attention to his or her specific needs. No one expects to need the services of a nursing home neglect lawyer, but it happens. Contact us today for more information about how we can help.
What is a contingency fee?
When a lawyer works on a “contingency fee” basis, they’re agreeing to accept a fixed percentage of any monetary rewards from your lawsuit to cover their legal fees. If there are no rewards from your nursing home abuse lawsuit, you don’t pay the lawyer. We get paid if, and only if, you do.
What are the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect?
Often, it’s hard to see nursing home abuse or neglect happening. This is for a number of reasons. One could be that the staff are on their “best behavior” when there are visitors on site, but it could also be because nursing home residents are less verbal or are suffering from conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia, which would make it hard for them to report to a relative what is happening to them. A nursing home abuse attorney is specially trained to find evidence that goes beyond even the physical appearance of a patient. If you see any of the following signs in a loved one, however, it’s important to call a nursing home abuse attorney immediately because often, it could be the difference between life and death for a nursing home patient.
- Bruises and lacerations (cuts)
- Heavy administration of medication or drugs
- Extreme or rapid weight loss or gain
- Drastic changes in personality
- Unexpected illness or death
- Decubitus ulcers (also known as bedsores or pressure sores)
- Unexplained bruises and cuts
- Broken hip or other bones from a fall or assault
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Inappropriate use of physical restraints
- Drug overdose or injury from incorrect medication (or dosage)
- Physical, emotional and psychological abuse
- Exposure from wandering off the grounds due to a lack of supervision
If you arrive to visit your loved one and you’re denied visitation (during regular visiting hours), or if the staff won’t allow you to be alone with your loved one, these could be signs that they have something to hide.
Meet our Oklahoma Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Our team will assist you and your loved one in handling the indignities that elder abuse can present and will get you the help you need.
I think my loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse. What should I do now?
If you suspect that abuse is taking place, or if anything seems out of the ordinary, there are steps you can take to ensure that appropriate care is being provided. First, raise these issues to the nursing home’s management. They are required by law to address your concerns, and they must have a written policy explaining this. If you’re unsatisfied by the management’s response, or if you don’t see improvement by the next visit, you can contact the National Adult Protective Services Association in your state to file a report. This is the time when you should call a nursing home abuse lawyer.
As well, you could call the National Center on Elder Abuse at (855) 500-3537 for additional guidance. However, if you believe that your loved one, or any elderly nursing home resident, is experiencing a serious and immediate threat of harm, don’t hesitate to call 911 or your local emergency number for immediate assistance.