When our elderly loved ones begin to suffer from medical issues beyond our capability to care for them, it often becomes necessary to make the decision to place our loved ones in a nursing home. You and your family may take the time and visit numerous facilities to find one that you feel will give your loved one the compassionate care they deserve. However, even a seemingly good nursing home may turn out to be a place where residents suffer from abuse or neglect.
Nursing home abuse and neglect occur for a wide variety of reasons, including:
- Staff with inadequate qualifications to take care of nursing home residents
- Staffing shortages
- Insufficient training
- Low wages or poor working conditions leading to a high turnover of staff
- Insufficient equipment and supplies for staffers to take care of residents
- Inconsistent and insufficient supervision, reporting, and regulation
These and other factors can lead nursing home staff to engage in abuse or neglect out of frustration caused by professional burnout or lead to an environment that allows malicious staff members to indulge in tendencies for greed or violence. Abuse and neglect may result from corporate decisions by nursing home operators to cut costs and maximize profits.
If you have a loved one who has been victimized by nursing home negligence or abuse, you need an experienced law firm that will fight to protect your loved one’s safety and rights, and that will work tirelessly to seek compensation and justice for the injuries and other harm your loved one has suffered.
Since 1995, the nursing home abuse attorneys of Teddy, Meekins & Talbert have fought to help families of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Shelby and throughout North Carolina protect their loved ones from harm and obtain financial compensation for their loved ones’ injuries and damages.
Our firm strives to offer the personalized attention of a small-town law firm with the knowledge and experience necessary to pursue any nursing home abuse case, no matter how complex. Our legal team includes a board-certified attorney in civil trial advocacy, so you can be sure that when you choose our firm to handle your nursing home abuse case, you will have the assistance of a legal specialist.
We recognize the difficulties and stress that having a loved one victimized by nursing home abuse or neglect can place on you and your family. We will always take the time to help you understand what to expect in your case and the best path forward.
If your loved one has been injured by abuse suffered in a nursing home, contact Teddy, Meekins & Talbert today. Talk to a Shelby nursing home abuse lawyer about your rights and options for pursuing financial compensation and protecting your loved one.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can come in many different forms. Families of nursing home residents should familiarize themselves with all the different types of nursing home abuse so that they can look out for signs or symptoms that their loved one may be suffering from some form of abuse.
Types of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse – Physical abuse involves battery or other violence against a nursing home resident, including hitting, slapping, punching, pushing, kicking, or choking, or restraining or overmedicating a resident to prevent them from moving or wandering.
- Emotional/mental abuse – Nursing home staffers can emotionally or mentally abuse residents by engaging in conduct such as yelling or cursing at residents, insulting residents, belittling residents or treating them like children, isolating residents from fellow residents or visitors, refusing to permit residents to engage in social or recreational activities, or threatening physical abuse or loss of privileges.
- Sexual abuse – Nursing home residents can be sexually abused when they are forced into sexual conduct without their consent (or when a resident lacks the mental capacity to consent), or if they are forced to be exposed to others for non-medical or personal care reasons, or if others expose themselves to residents without their consent.
- Financial abuse – Elderly persons may be subjected to financial abuse when staff steal personal property from a resident’s room, steal money from a resident or use their ATM card to make unauthorized withdrawals, or engage in coercion, undue influence, or duress to force residents to give money to abusive staff or to change the resident’s financial or estate planning documents to financially benefit an abusive staff member.
- Neglect – Nursing home neglect involves failing to provide necessary care to a resident, including food, water, hygiene and cleaning, or mobility assistance.
- Self-neglect – Self-neglect occurs when a vulnerable elderly person fails, either willfully or due to physical or mental illness, to take care of their personal care needs, such as feeding or bathing. If nursing home staff fail to notice or fail to act on signs that a resident is engaging in self-neglect, they may be held responsible for any harm that results.
Common Nursing Home Abuse Injuries
The various types of nursing home abuse can lead to a wide variety of injuries to the victims of such abuse. Common nursing home abuse and neglect injuries include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Restraint marks
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Poor personal hygiene
- Soft-tissue injuries such as sprains and tears of ligaments, tendons, or muscles
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Infections or other communicable diseases
- Scalding or burns
- Untreated medical conditions, such as diabetes
- Sudden onset of anxiety or depression
- Unusual anger or aggression
Warning Signs of Abuse and Neglect
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you should look out for the following signs, which may indicate that your loved one has been victimized by abuse and/or neglect in the nursing home:
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, broken bones
- Untreated injuries and injuries in various stages of healing
- Bedsores/pressure ulcers
- Frozen joints
- Unexplained genital infections or sexually transmitted diseases
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Staff refusing or delaying visitors from seeing a resident
- Staff not permitting visitors to remain alone with a resident
- Resident being kept in an overmedicated state
- Bruises or other marks from restraint devices
- Loss of a resident’s personal possessions
- Sudden withdrawals from a resident’s bank accounts or unexplained changes in banking practices
- Abrupt changes in a resident’s estate planning and financial documents
- Staff refusal to communicate with or return communications from a resident’s family members
What to Do If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect
If you suspect that your loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect at their nursing home, you can take the following steps to help protect your loved one from further harm and begin to seek compensation and justice for the injuries they have already suffered:
- Call 911 if the nursing home resident is facing a life-threating condition.
- Report suspected abuse or neglect to the nursing home facility management. If the abuse or neglect is limited to individual staff members, the facility’s management can take steps to remove those staff members and, if appropriate, report them to the authorities.
- You can also file a report of nursing home abuse and/or neglect with the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, which oversees nursing homes in the state.
- You should contact a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer. An attorney can help you file reports of abuse or neglect with the nursing home facility management or with the state. An attorney can also help you remove your loved one from an abusive or neglectful facility. An attorney can also start the process of pursuing a legal claim to seek financial compensation for your loved one’s injuries and other damages.
Call Our Shelby Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, don’t delay in getting the dedicated legal representation you need to hold your loved one’s abusers accountable and to pursue the financial recovery you and your loved one needs for the injuries and harm.
Contact the Shelby nursing home abuse attorneys of Teddy, Meekins & Talbert now to discuss your case with one of our experienced lawyers. Learn more about how our firm can fight to seek the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.
Call us today to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation initial consultation.