Caring for elderly family members is one of our most sacred duties as a society, yet many nursing home residents suffer personal injury and mistreatment from the very care facilities we entrust with their proper care.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse refers to the physical abuse or emotional abuse of the elderly and other vulnerable adults that takes place in residential, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities. It is also sometimes referred to as institutional elder abuse, and in the worst cases, can result in the wrongful death of the patient.
Nursing home abuse cases are often referred to as “the hidden crime” for several reasons: it is often difficult to recognize, it can be concealed by nursing home staff, and the victims may be too frightened or incapacitated to communicate the neglect.
What is Nursing Home Abuse or Elder Abuse?
The most common forms of elder abuse that our nursing home abuse attorneys see are:
- Physical abuse – infliction of pain or injury, including sexual abuse.
- Misuse of restraints – chemical or physical control of a resident not in accordance with accepted medical practice or proper standard of care.
- Verbal/emotional abuse – demeaning statements, harassment, threats, humiliation, or intimidation by staff members or other residents.
- Physical neglect – disregard for the necessities of daily living, such as food, water, bathing, and basic care.
- Sexual abuse – unwanted or nonconsensual sexual contact (through force or trickery) by a staff member, resident, family member, or stranger.
- Medical neglect – lack of proper medical care, such as ignoring a necessary medical diet, not calling a physician when necessary, being unaware of potential side effects of medication, not taking action on a medical problem, medication errors, and medical malpractice.
- Verbal/emotional neglect – not meeting the patients’ verbal/emotional needs, including disregarding patients’ wishes or restricting contact with family and friends.
- Personal property neglect and financial exploitation – illegal or improper use of a resident’s property (funds, property, assets) by another for personal gain.
- Bedsores – injuries to the skin and underlying tissue caused primarily from lack of attention and improper medical care.
- Falls – injuries that can lead to broken bones, disability, functional decline, reduced independence, and reduced quality of life.
- Medication errors – improper dispensing of medicine to patients that causes harm.
- Choking – improper monitoring of patients or improper care that results in choking.
- Elopement – failure to supervise patients with a debilitating mental illness that results in the patient leaving a facility without notice.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Nursing Home Negligence
Many nursing home abuse cases can be identified through a few common warning signs. It is critical that loved ones distinguish between these signs of nursing home abuse and ordinary signs of old age or dementia commonly found among nursing home residents.
The following are common signs of nursing home abuse:
- emotional withdrawal
- silence around nursing home staff
- bruises or bleeding
- unexplained illness, disease, or infection
- dehydration, malnutrition, or unexplained weight loss
- physical pain or discomfort
- unexplained financial hardship or unpaid bills
- sudden changes in power of attorney or to the loved one’s will
Get the Care and Help Your Loved One Deserve
Unfortunately, nursing home neglect happens all too often in nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout Missouri and southern Illinois due to improperly trained staff, negligent hiring, or understaffing. Finding the right law firm to handle your personal injury case is critical.
For more than 40 years, the law firm of Brown & Crouppen has been helping the victims of nursing home neglect get the justice they deserve. Let our experienced team of nursing home abuse attorneys help you. If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect, give us a call for a free consultation.
Get A Free Case Evaluation from the Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Brown & Crouppen
Getting started is easy. You can call us at 800-536-4357 for a free consultation, or tell us about your case with our Free Case Review form. And remember, there’s no upfront cost to you — if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.