Nursing Home and Elderly Injury
“Salina’s Premier Injury Law Firm Since 1979”
Nursing home abuse is more common than most people may think. Many times older people are ignored, neglected, or even mistreated. Abuse is not always a physical violation of a person, but also an emotional and mental violation. In addition, many times serious personal injuries happen to the elderly that could have been prevented with proper care and attention.
In the U.S. Generally, the most commonly reported nursing home violations include:
- Inadequate medical care;
- Malnutrition and dehydration;
- Inadequate sanitation and hygiene;
- Physical violence;
- Untreated bedsores;
- A lack of supervision; and
- Improper security.
Nursing abuse can be physically and emotionally scarring for victims and their families, so it is especially important for those considering placing a loved one in an assisted living facility to carefully research a number of options.
Nursing Home Liability
Below we discuss factors in choosing a nursing home. Unfortunately, even when a family is careful about choosing a nursing home for their loved one, abuse can still occur. For this reason, it is important for families to remain vigilant for signs of abuse and neglect. Some of these signs can include:
- Torn clothing;
- Unexplained bruising on the wrists or ankles;
- Significant emotional or physical changes;
- Unexplained weight loss;
- High staff turnover; and
- Multiple complaints by other residents.
If a family recognizes any of these signs of abuse, it is important that they take the following steps:
- Record, in writing, the specific dates and times of abuse;
- Record the names of potential witnesses;
- Photograph injuries;
- Report any concerns to the facility’s nursing staff both verbally and in writing;
- Keep copies of all information received from and provided to the nursing staff;
- Record the testimony of family members, visitors, and other residents; and
- Retain all of a resident’s medical records.
By preserving this evidence, a victim of nursing home abuse will have a better chance of succeeding at trial or in settlement proceedings. Ultimately, plaintiffs may be able to have the nursing home’s license revoked, the responsible parties put in jail, and obtain compensation for:
- The medical expenses related to treating a victim’s injuries;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Fees paid to the nursing home.
Contact an Experienced Elderly Law or Personal Injury Attorney Today
State and federal regulations were put in place to ensure that elderly residents of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities are not taken advantage of in their twilight years. Unfortunately, due to understaffing and underfunding, many scheduled and legally required inspections do not take place, leaving residents vulnerable to abuse, so if you are considering placing an elderly or disabled relative in an assisted living facility, it is important to remain aware of resident rights.
If you live in Kansas and have questions or concerns about violations of individual rights, neglect or abuse for your loved one, please contact the law firm of Neustrom & Associates at 785-825-1505 and a member of our dedicated legal team will help you schedule an initial consultation. We help defend the injured and elderly in Salina and the surrounding areas of Kansas.
Choosing a Nursing Home
When choosing a living arrangement for an elderly or disabled relative, a person should begin by speaking to local social workers and obtaining recommendations from physicians and senior centers. Once a person has created a list of potential facilities, he or she must take steps to ensure that each nursing home complies with both state and federal regulations. The Department for Aging and Disability Services conducts regular inspections and surveys to make sure that nursing home residents across the state are receiving care in accordance with federal and state standards. Surveyors also inspect the physical environment of each facility to ensure that facilities are providing safe conditions. Those who are in the process of choosing a nursing facility should contact the local licensing agency and request a copy of each nursing home’s last full survey and any complaint investigation reports.
At this point, it is important to obtain more specific information about each nursing home, including:
- Whether residents are able to make decisions about when to wake up, go to sleep, or bathe;
- Visiting hours;
- Whether the nursing home provides residents with transportation to community activities;
- The ratio of residents to staff members;
- Whether residents have access to social workers;
- Whether there is a choice of food items at mealtimes;
- How the nursing home creates a safe environment for residents;
- Whether residents have access to preventive healthcare;
- Whether the current administrator is licensed; and
- The cost of room and board.
If a nursing home satisfies all of these requirements, a person considering placing a loved one in the facility should then visit the residence in-person. There are good homes for Kansans.