The difficulties of this already challenging situation are redoubled if the family member who has been placed in a nursing home begins to have inadequate hygiene, poor nutrition or, most troubling, unexplained cuts, bruises, burns, bedsores or broken bones. Nursing home patients often do not get the quality care that they deserve, and there have been many well-publicized instances (and sometimes patterns) of lapses in treatment. This negligence is a serious problem that can have deadly results.
If you believe that your loved one has suffered an injury or a decline in their condition due to the care they have received at their nursing home, please contact the Pikeville KY nursing home abuse lawyer, Billy Johnson. Our firm can be reached toll-free at 606-433-0682 or through this online form.
From our offices in Pikeville, we have helped people throughout Eastern Kentucky and beyond since 1998. Let us put our experience to work for you.
A Climate of Risk
Nursing home abuse has many causes, primarily ones related to not having enough qualified employees. Understaffing can lead to overworked employees’ taking their stress out on the patients. In addition, understaffing can result in neglect because there is less time for individual care. Employees may also feel that they are not paid enough money to deal with the intensely personal situations that can occur. Furthermore, some nursing home employees are inadequately trained and cannot cope with the emotional aspects of the job.
Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Elder Neglect
Although nursing home abuse is not always obvious, there are some warning signs that it has occurred. Unfortunately, many cases go unreported because the victim may be afraid to tell someone, may be threatened by the abuser, may think that the abuse is normal, may not even be aware they are being abused, may not be able to communicate due to physical or mental limitations, may feel they deserve to be punished, or may not want to burden their family.
In addition to physical abuse — such as slapping or shaking — nursing home neglect can come in the form of the resident’s basic needs not being met. Examples include failure to give proper medication, failure to care for wounds, failure to provide suitable nutrition, and failure to assist in personal hygiene. Residents who are unreasonably restrained or subjected to sexual assault are also victims of abuse. Mental abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse, although it may be harder to prove. Patients who are humiliated, insulted, or threatened are victims of mental abuse. This category also includes refusal to let a patient make decisions about personal things like eating or getting out of bed.
You should be concerned if a nursing home patient has:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Sudden changes in behavior, especially in regard to money
- Been kept in an over-medicated state or not had their pain managed effectively
- Lost possessions
- Abruptly changed his/her will or financial documents.
Other signs may come from the abusers themselves, such as:
- Not keeping a patient’s family informed of the patient’s status
- Not being able to explain a patient’s marks or bruises
- Refusing to allow visitors to see a patient
- Delaying in allowing visitors to see a patient
- Not allowing visitors to be alone with a patient.
Free Legal Consult
If you suspect that your elderly loved one has been neglected, abused, or injured while in the care of a nursing home or other healthcare facility, please contact Pikeville KY nursing home abuse lawyer, Billy Johnson, by calling toll-free 606-433-0682 or by filling out our online form. What may seem to be an insignificant detail in a patient’s care could also easily be an indication of a much larger problem. Let Billy Johnson help you by evaluating your case for free and, if he determines you may have a claim, by guiding you through the legal process.