When an elderly person moves into a nursing home, he may expect to receive professional healthcare services and everyday living assistance that he would not have been able to receive at home. There needs to be a level of trust and confidence that the nursing home will provide these services without taking advantage of or abusing the elderly person.
Unfortunately, there are many nursing homes where the residents are abused. It is important to understand the nature of the abuse, and what steps can be taken to recognize it and seek assistance. In addition, a resident who suffers abuse in a nursing home may be able to seek compensation for the injury inflicted.
Nursing home abuse can come in several forms. The abuse may be physical, psychological, sexual, and financial in nature. Neglecting the needs of the nursing home resident is also a form of abuse. In cases of abuse, nursing home staff members may take advantage of the frail mental and physical nature of the resident. If the resident is suffering from an illness that affects his mental capabilities, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, it may make him more susceptible to abuse.
There are some signs that can alert family members or loved ones if a nursing home resident is being abused. If the nursing home resident is suffering from financial abuse for example, there may be large sums of money transferred or withdrawn from the resident’s account. In addition, a resident who previously had substantial assets before being admitted to the nursing home may lack money to purchase even basic necessities.
Signs of physical abuse are easier to spot than signs of financial or psychological abuse, because they include seeing bruises and other unexplained physical injuries. Other signs such as bed sores, poor hygiene, infections, and unexplained weight loss can be signs of neglect.
When these signs are noticed, it is important to take immediate steps to protect the nursing home resident. This could include moving the resident to another facility, and reporting the incidents of abuse. The resident may also be able seek compensation from the nursing home for the abuse. If a nursing home resident passes away as a result of the abuse he suffered in a nursing home, his estate may be able to seek compensation from the nursing home.
Most nursing homes require people seeking a place in the nursing home to sign a pre-dispute arbitration agreement in order to be admitted. This kind of agreement means that the person agrees to settle any disputes between him and the nursing home through arbitration instead of going to court. This can have serious negative consequences for the person later on. For this reason, before agreeing to sign this or any other document, it is important to have the terms reviewed by an experienced attorney.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
If you suspect your loved one was a victim of abuse at the hands of nursing home staff members, you may be able to help your loved one seek compensation. Call us at Vocelle & Berg, LLP, in Vero Beach, Florida for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney with experience dealing with cases of nursing home abuse.