Nursing Home Negligence Attorney
Southaven Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Ready to Help
According to the CDC, there were 15,600 nursing homes across the United States in 2016, with 1.7 million licensed beds, and a total of 1.3 million residents. While many of these facilities provide a high standard of care to residents, others are less vigilant. In fact, there are cases where nursing home residents are not treated with the proper care and attention—when even their basic needs are not fully met. At Stroud, Flechas & Dalton, we understand just how devastating it can be for the loved ones of a nursing home resident to find out the individual has been abused or neglected.
Those who reside in nursing homes are an extremely vulnerable group—they are rarely able to defend themselves physically or stand up for themselves verbally. At Stroud, Flechas & Dalton, we are committed to fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. We will work hard on behalf of the patient (and your family) to ensure your loved one receives the best medical care and attention and is always treated with respect. When this does not happen, we will whatever we can to hold the nursing home accountable.
How Common is Nursing Home Negligence?
According to nursinghomeabuse.org, one study found that nearly one-fourth of all nursing home residents experienced at least one instance of physical abuse while in a nursing home. Since it is extremely likely that negligence in nursing homes is more common than physical abuse, we can assume a significant number of nursing home residents suffer negligence on some level. Further, since many elders who are abused or neglected are unable or unwilling to report these incidents, the numbers are probably much higher.
This same site reports that among elder self-reporting, about five to ten percent of the reports relate to physical abuse, 60 percent to verbal abuse, and at least 14 percent are related to neglect. Neglect is the failure to provide the basic life necessities to the elder, including medicine, housing, food, or hygiene. While both males and females are at risk for elder abuse and neglect, about two out of every three victims are female. Of particular note, is that as many as half of all those with dementia are neglected in nursing homes. Nursing homes may even facilitate an environment which creates a higher risk of elder negligence due to chronic understaffing, employee stress and burnout, and ineffective administration and policies.
What are the Most Common Types of Nursing Home Negligence?
The Nursing Home Abuse Center reports that nursing home neglect is the most common form of elder abuse in nursing facilities, placing the number of those neglected considerably higher than some other studies, claiming 95 percent of nursing home residents have reported some level of neglect within the past year. While nursing home neglect is similar to nursing home abuse, there are key differences between the two. Nursing home neglect is a form of substandard care which causes harm to the patient, while nursing home abuse implies the harm was intentional. There are essentially four types of nursing home neglect, which include:
- Medical neglect occurs when the medical concerns of the resident are not properly or adequately attended to. When residents develop bedsores, infections, or lacerations, or when they have cognitive disorders and mobility issues, medical neglect has occurred.
- Personal hygiene neglect occurs when residents are not provided assistance with cleaning themselves or brushing their teeth, or when the patient is forced to wear dirty clothing or sleep on dirty sheets.
- Basic needs neglect occurs when nursing home residents are not provided with an adequate amount of water or food, or when their environment is not clean and safe.
- Social or emotional neglect occurs when staff members consistently ignore a resident, leaving them alone for far too long, or when overstressed staff members yell at residents or otherwise verbally berate them.
How Do You Know When a Loved One is Being Neglected or Abused in a Nursing Home?
It can be difficult to identify cases of nursing home neglect because the warning signs can be very subtle, and there may be no overt physical evidence. Further, elderly patients are not always able to tell another person about the neglect. Some of the most obvious signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Sudden weight loss, particularly if the resident requires help to feed himself or herself;
- Frequent bedsores;
- Frequent infections;
- Falls, which cause various injuries;
- Withdrawn behavior;
- Failure to maintain social interactions;
- Noticeable alterations in appearance or personal hygiene, or
- Any evidence of environmental hazards (slippery floors, bad lighting, unsafe wheelchairs or walkers, unsafe furniture).
When family members or friends visit their loved one, they should always observe carefully for signs of neglect, changes in health, or any level of emotional distress.
What Should You Do if You Discover Nursing Home Negligence?
Discovering your loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence can leave you upset, frustrated, anxious, wondering what to do, and how to protect your loved one. If you feel there is a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately, as well as the Adult Protective Services office and the police. Any sign of neglect or abuse should be documented, both in photos and in writing. If you do not believe the negligence warrants calls to the authorities, contact your loved one’s primary care physician, a patient advocate at the nursing home, the administrator of the facility, and an experienced Mississippi nursing home negligence and abuse attorney.
How Can Stroud, Flechas & Dalton Help with Nursing Home Negligence?
Your loved one has the right to live in an environment which is safe, and which offers the basic necessities of life. If you believe your loved one has suffered nursing home neglect, contact an attorney from Stroud, Flechas & Dalton. We have significant experience dealing with nursing home abuse and neglect. We will evaluate your case and possibly even obtain compensation for your loved one. There are regulations in place for nursing homes that require they be adequately staffed, that residents are timely and properly medicated, and that the resident’s medical needs are met in a timely manner. For assistance with nursing home negligence or abuse, contact the Southaven personal injury attorneys at Stroud, Flechas & Dalton today.