Nursing and retirement homes are meant to be safe havens where the elderly can spend their golden years in safety and peace. Heartbreakingly, nursing home abuse is a common occurrence. Our elderly loved ones represent a particularly vulnerable population. Sadly, there are many unscrupulous healthcare workers, nursing home employees, and staff who exploit and victimize nursing home residents. Best & Brock don’t stand for this.
Our Chattanooga nursing home abuse lawyers believe that everyone deserves justice, and we work hard to protect our clients and their families. When abuse happens, we are there to fight back. With extensive experience handling these types of personal injury cases, we know that the best approach is one that is aggressive and detail oriented. We are meticulous when investigating your case, leaving no stone unturned.
Nursing Home Abuse in the U.S.
Sadly, it is believed that only a fraction of nursing home and elder abuse cases are reported. This is due to a number of factors. In some cases, those being abused are scared or reluctant to report their abuse. In other cases, due to reduced mental capacities, the elderly may be unable to report the abuse. Additionally, the signs of abuse may be missed by those who would report it (such as professional healthcare workers or family members).
Nursing home abuse includes:
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
- Gross neglect
- Physical abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, women tend to be more vulnerable to abuse than men, and those who suffer from dementia, functional impairment, and poor health are also at higher risk. In addition to abuse at the hands of nursing home staff, abuse perpetrated by fellow residents is a significant problem.
Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Over 3 million people live in nursing homes or residential care facilities, and it is projected that more than 40% of people over 65 will one day enter a nursing home. A 2010 study reported that over 50% of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating elderly patients. Frighteningly, the nursing home abuse problem in the US doesn’t seem to be going away. However, it is promising that the reporting of abuse cases is on the rise.
You can help protect your loved ones by staying vigilant and looking out for the following signs of nursing home abuse:
- Increased physical injuries, like sprains and bone fractures
- Bruises, cuts, and other wounds
- Unexplained illnesses, including STIs
- Persistent health problems, like untreated bedsores
- Signs of being restrained
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Unsanitary conditions and poor personal hygiene
- Broken personal property, such as eyeglasses
- Sudden changes in behavior, personality, or temperament
- Being denied access to your family member
The more people are held accountable for their actions, the better able we will be to protect our elderly friends and family. If someone reports nursing home abuse to you, you should always take it seriously. Too often, an elderly person tries to voice their concerns only to be ignored or not believed. Additionally, it is common for abusers to try and blame injuries and other problems on dementia or other mental conditions.
If you or a loved one was injured in a nursing home abuse incident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Compensation can be used for any expense related to your case, including health care, relocation fees, legal fees, and pain and suffering. You may also have grounds to file a lawsuit against the nursing home, assisted living, or long-term care facility where the abuse occurred. A lawsuit is often the best way to hold people accountable and effect changes at a systemic level.
We know that this process can be emotionally difficult, but we stand by our clients every step of the way. Our Chattanooga nursing home abuse attorneys take the time to get to know our clients and their families. This personal touch is what enables us to provide the holistic, caring legal representation our clients need most.
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