According to a 2017 study performed by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, more than 50 percent of elderly Americans will spend their golden years in a nursing home. Most nursing homes are excellent institutions, but some, unfortunately, have neglectful or even abusive employees. Throughout the United States, as many as five million senior citizens are physically harmed each year by nursing home abuse or neglect.
Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), approximately 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 will face some form of physical abuse from a caregiver. There are many ways that a trusted caregiver can cause injury to a senior citizen, ranging from physical harm to sexual or emotional abuse. Due to the frailty of many elderly Americans, physical abuse such as a shove to the ground can result in broken bones or other serious injuries. If you notice bruises, abrasions, or odd marks on your loved one, you should consider removing them from their nursing home and contacting law enforcement.
Unfortunately, sexual abuse is not uncommon in nursing homes. This type of abuse can range from unwanted touching to forced intercourse. In some instances, nursing home residents suffering from disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are sexually manipulated by employees. Regardless of the situation, when a nursing home employee engages in sexual actions with a resident, they are more than likely attempting to exploit a vulnerable individual.
While emotional abuse can be less noticeable, it can also have an incredibly harmful effect on a senior’s life. Emotional abuse may come in the form of disparaging remarks, taunts, or threats from a caregiver. When an elderly individual enters a nursing home, the transition into assisted living can be challenging, and they can be apprehensive towards allowing strangers to assist them in everyday activities. Nursing home employees are taught to exercise extreme patience and understanding with their residents, and failure to do so is an egregious violation of the responsibility they have as a caregiver.
Forms of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home abuse involves a willful attempt to harm a resident, whereas nursing home negligence is a breach of responsibility resulting in substandard care, and it often leads to injuries, illnesses, or malnourishment. When an elderly loved one is experiencing nursing home neglect, recognizing the signs and symptoms can be more challenging than in instances of abuse. In some cases, neglect may take the form of nursing home staff leaving a resident in their room and ignoring their social or emotional needs. While this type of neglect can be challenging to identify, it is known to lead to anxiety and depression.
Failure to meet a patient’s needs is also a form of negligence. This can occur when a staff member fails to address a resident’s most basic needs, such as providing them with food and water, or ensuring that their room is clean and safe. This type of neglect can lead to weight loss, dehydration, or sickness.
Tragically, medical neglect is one of the most common forms of nursing home negligence. Nursing homes should provide medical care that addresses a resident’s specific conditions, and if a caregiver is neglectful in these duties, this can cause serious physical harm and ultimately result in the death of the resident. If your loved one is experiencing medical conditions ranging from cognitive disorders to diabetes or bedsores, and you believe that they are not being adequately cared for, speak with an attorney immediately.
Contact an Appleton Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
If you have concerns about a loved one, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible so that if necessary, direction can be given about contacting the applicable state agencies who may be in a position to investigate nursing home abuse or neglect. If your elderly family member has suffered injuries, illness, or emotional trauma due to the negligent or abusive actions of a nursing home employee, the most crucial step you can take is hiring an attorney that can champion your case. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we have helped secure compensation for victims of nursing home negligence that have suffered from bed sores, malnutrition, and broken bones. Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable members of our society, and our firm is dedicated to protecting their rights. To schedule a free consultation with a Green Bay personal injury lawyer, call us today at 920-739-7366.