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Picking the Right Nursing Home

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When your family member resides in a nursing home, you expect that they will receive appropriate medical care and attention. However, mistreatment frequently arises as a result of understaffing or negligence among nursing home administrators and staff.

Statistics show that 4.6% of seniors over age 65 may experience psychological abuse, 5.1% are neglected, and 1.6% suffer physical abuse at the hands of caretakers. A 2021 study found that in a review of nursing home complaints, 29% were for physical abuse, and 40% of staff admitted psychologically abusing residents.

If your loved one has suffered physical or emotional harm due to poor nursing home care, you can protect their rights in a civil claim. Our Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can advocate on behalf of your loved one. We can help you hold the negligent caretakers responsible and seek financial compensation for your losses.

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Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

The first step to protecting your loved one in a nursing home is recognizing the signs of abuse. Knowing what to watch for can help you detect these signs early and take action promptly. Here are the typical indicators of abuse or neglect in nursing homes:

  • Bedsores (Pressure Sores): These result from prolonged pressure on the skin, particularly on areas like hips, heels, and elbows. You might notice patches of red, blistered, or open skin, which indicate areas where the blood flow has been compromised due to pressure from lack of proper care by staff.
  • Unexplained Cuts and Bruises: These injuries may appear without any clear explanation and could be signs of mishandling or accidents within the facility. Look for bruises or cuts in various stages of healing, especially in less visible areas of the body.
  • Infections: Warning signs include redness, swelling, heat, or pus around wounds, cuts, or pressure sores, indicating that an infection may be present. You might also notice a fever or that the resident feels unwell, which can indicate systemic infection.
  • Extreme Weight Loss: Sudden or extreme weight loss can indicate malnutrition, indicating that your loved one is not receiving adequate nutrition. Their clothes may appear looser, and bones may be more prominent.
  • Malnutrition and Dehydration: In addition to weight loss, signs of malnutrition include pale, dry skin, brittle hair, and general lethargy. Dehydration signs include dry mouth, sunken eyes, and infrequent urination, indicating insufficient fluid intake.
  • Unsanitary Conditions: This can include dirty living spaces, soiled bedding or clothes, and poor hygiene in the facility. Unsanitary conditions can lead to a higher risk of infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and contribute to an uncomfortable living environment for residents.

How Nursing Home Abuse Happens

Nursing home abuse can happen for many reasons, including inadequate training, understaffing, or deliberate neglect and mistreatment. Key factors contributing to an environment conducive to abuse include:

  • Understaffing: In 2021, 94% of nursing home providers reported staff shortages. This scarcity of staff can lead to overwhelmed employees, reducing the quality of care and increasing the risk of neglect or abuse due to inadequate supervision and assistance.
  • Lack of Oversight and Training: Without proper oversight and comprehensive training, staff may not be equipped to handle the complex needs of residents, leading to inadequate care, mistakes, and even intentional abuse stemming from frustration or lack of understanding.
  • Resident-on-Resident Abuse: 22% of abuse complaints in a 2021 study were due to this type of abuse. These situations often arise in environments where there is insufficient supervision, allowing tensions between residents to escalate into physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

Damages to Seek in a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

All nursing homes and staff members are responsible for providing residents with prompt and effective medical care. They should be held accountable for their negligence if they fail to meet that responsibility.

Our skilled legal team at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help you and your family recover the following damages as part of a personal injury claim:

  • Medical Bills: Compensation for medical expenses encompasses hospital stays, doctor visits, emergency room treatment, and any necessary medical procedures resulting from negligence. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that you are not left to shoulder the financial burden of these costs.
  • Physical Therapy: If your family member needs physical therapy to recover from injuries caused by nursing home neglect or abuse, we can assist in recouping the expenses. This includes covering ongoing rehabilitation costs to support their recovery.
  • Prescription Medications: We can assist in recovering the cost of prescription medications needed to treat injuries or conditions resulting from neglect or abuse. This ensures that your family is not burdened with the financial impact of necessary medications.
  • Pain and Suffering: Our legal team is committed to seeking compensation for the physical pain and discomfort caused by the negligence of nursing home staff. This includes compensation for immediate and long-term pain and emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD due to their mistreatment.

How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help

The state and federal governments license nursing homes, and to maintain their licenses, they are subject to strict laws and regulations. These complex laws can make reporting abuse and seeking compensation complicated to navigate on your own. Our nursing home abuse lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy understand these laws and can use them to protect your loved one.

Here’s how our attorneys use their experience to help you:

  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Our attorneys will gather and analyze evidence, including medical records, staff logs, and surveillance footage, to build a strong case demonstrating neglect or abuse.
  • Expert Testimony: We have access to medical experts and specialists who can provide testimony on the extent of injuries and how they correlate with the alleged abuse or neglect, adding credibility and strength to your case.
  • Handling Legal Procedures: Our experienced team will handle all legal procedures, filings, and deadlines, ensuring your claim is properly presented and argued in court or settlement negotiations.
  • Maximizing Compensation: We are committed to securing the maximum compensation for damages, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress, ensuring the nursing home is held accountable.

At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we know how devastating it can be to find out that your loved one was injured because of neglect in a nursing home. If you suspect that your loved one has suffered injuries because of neglect while in a care facility, we want to help you.

All nursing home residents have rights, and our goal is to ensure those rights are respected and upheld at all times. Contact us for a free initial consultation, and let our nursing home neglect lawyers help your family today.