It can be hard to admit that your loved one is no longer able to take care of themselves and that living with you or another family member is not the best option. The best thing for your relative may be for them to move into a nursing home where they can receive medical care and personalized attention. You obviously only want the best for them and to do right by your loved one, but unfortunately, seniors are at risk for neglect and abuse at nursing homes in Missouri and Illinois. If you believe your elderly loved one has suffered from neglect or abuse, contact a St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
You can reach the St. Louis personal injury lawyers with The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or through our online form. We offer free case consultations so you can learn about your loved one’s rights and options.
Nursing Home Negligence
Your loved one may suffer from declining health or physical injuries if the nursing home’s staff does not provide the standard of care required to by law. Neglect is not necessarily intentional. It often arises due to carelessness by staff members or a lack of staff. Understaffed nursing homes or poorly trained employees are particularly prone to neglecting their residents.
Nursing home neglect can lead to:
- Lack of food/malnutrition
- Lack of fluids/dehydration
- Poor hygiene, including not bathing residents or brushing their teeth
- Dirty clothing and bedding
- Unsanitary or unsafe common areas
- Insufficient medical care/medical malpractice
- Decubitus ulcers/bed sores
It is essential you know that bedsores, also called pressure sores, are not a normal part of living in a nursing home. Your loved one should be bathed and moved often enough to avoid sores on their body. These injuries occur when your loved one is not kept clean and left in fixed positions for too long. For instance, if your loved one is lying in bed for days on end, then they may develop sores on the back of their legs, buttocks, and back. Individuals who are forced to sit in wheelchairs for long periods can develop sores on the back of their legs. If your loved one has developed bed sores, contact a St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyer.
Gross Elder Neglect
Gross nursing home neglect occurs when staff members’ actions surpass carelessness and amount to a significant disregard for providing appropriate care that may harm residents. Gross negligence is more egregious than ordinary negligence. For instance, a nursing home may be considered negligent for only bathing residents once every 10 to 14 days. It may be considered grossly negligent if all or certain residents go weeks or months without being bathed.
If you visit your loved one and notice signs of neglect, either in their appearance or the environment, contact our St. Louis nursing home abuse attorneys as soon as possible. We will review your relative’s situation and explain their rights and options. We can represent your relative’s interests in working with the facility to improve the care, and if necessary, pursue a claim for compensation for your relative’s injuries.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home residents, particularly those with physical or mental limitations, are at significant risk for physical, psychological, and emotional abuse. Neglect is often not intentionally harmful. However, abuse is willful. It occurs when a nursing home worker, resident, visitor, or someone else who has access to residents intentionally harms your loved one or others.
- Physical abuse
Any intentional and knowing conduct that inflicts physical harm on a nursing home resident is physical abuse. This can include typical physical abuse like hitting and kicking. However, in nursing homes, it also includes physical restraints, like being tied to a bed or wheelchair, or chemical restraints, such as being over-medicated.
- Psychological abuse
Nursing home staff members can abuse your relative without ever laying a finger on them. Individuals may belittle, humiliate, harass, and terrorize residents, causing extreme emotional distress. Another form of emotional abuse is to isolate residents, distancing them from relatives and friends.
- Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse encompasses any non-consensual sexual contact or intercourse. If an older adult has a cognitive deficiency that makes them incompetent or is non-verbal and unable to communicate their consent, then any sexual contact is non-consensual and unlawful.
- Financial abuse
Seniors are at risk for direct theft of their money and property, embezzlement by caregivers with access to their accounts, and being manipulated and defrauded. Nursing home employees and others can scheme to obtain hundreds or thousands of dollars from your relative.
If you notice any signs of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse toward your loved one, contact a St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyer at The Cagle Law Firm right away. We will guide you through protecting your loved one, ensuring they receive appropriate care, and holding the perpetrators responsible. State authorities may need to be notified, who investigate issues of nursing home neglect and abuse and have the authority to penalize the facilities civilly. It may give your loved one the right to sue and pursue compensation for their physical, psychological, and financial injuries. Also, at times, elder abuse is a crime. We may need to take evidence to local law enforcement.
Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse Claims
If your loved one is injured due to nursing home neglect or abuse, then we can represent them in a claim against the facility. We will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence, including who allowed or perpetuated the negligent care or intentional misconduct. We will also look into whether supervisors or managers at the facility were aware of the problem and if they took steps to correct it. Based on the information we obtain, we can guide you through making a claim with the nursing home, and if necessary, filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Through an insurance claim or lawsuit, we will fight for your loved one to receive compensation for:
- Medical Costs
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Physical Limitations
- Loss of Future Earning Capacity
- Loss of Consortium and Companionship
If the conduct directed toward your loved one was particularly egregious, your relative might be able to pursue punitive damages as well. This type of damages is not intended to compensate your loved one for their injuries. Instead, they are used to punish the wrongdoers.
Fatal Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home neglect and abuse can lead to your loved one passing away earlier than they would have had they received appropriate care. If you believe a care facility’s wrongful conduct caused their wrongful death, contact our St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyers immediately. We will conduct an independent, in-depth investigation into your relative’s death. If your family has a valid Illinois or Missouri wrongful death claim, we will guide you through this process. We may pursue compensation for:
- Funeral and Burial Expenses
- Loss of Financial Contributions
- Loss of Care and Support
- Loss of Love and Companionship
- Loss of Inheritance
A St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
It is often difficult to determine if your loved one has been neglected or abused. Sometimes signs of neglect or abuse mask themselves as symptoms of age, cognitive decline, or common health issues. For instance, seniors may experience falls. Yet, multiple falls can be a sign that your loved one is not receiving appropriate care or are being pushed. If anything has made you worried about the level of care your loved one is receiving, contact us at The Cagle Law Firm. We have extensive experience handling nursing home neglect and abuse cases a history or securing favorable results. We will investigate the situation to determine what has happened and who is responsible. If there is evidence of elder abuse or neglect, then we can guide you or your loved one through a legal claim.
To learn more about nursing home abuse and negligent care, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or contact us through our online form.