The entire process of identifying that a loved one can no longer live independently is a very difficult process full of emotion. 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. Nursing home care has changed greatly in the last two decades, and often, residential care is the best option for a family member who needs full-time medical care and personalized attention. You obviously only want the best for them and to do right by your loved one.
When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to be cared for, and it can be heartbreaking to learn they’ve been suffering. Nursing home abuse or failure to properly care for your loved one, it feels like a deep betrayal for family members of the resident. If you believe your elderly loved one has suffered from neglect or abuse, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in St. Louis, MO, immediately.
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 by law. Neglect is not necessarily intentional. It can arise 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
- Bed Sores
It is essential that you know 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. If your loved one has developed bedsores, 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, you should contact the facility administration and nursing staff immediately. It is important to document these kinds of injuries and 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.
Types of 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.
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 can also include various types of physical restraints, like being tied to a bed or wheelchair, or chemical restraints, such as being over-medicated.
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 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, any sexual contact is non-consensual and unlawful.
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 right away. State authorities may need to be notified, who investigate nursing home neglect and abuse and have the authority to penalize the facilities civilly. Also, at times, elder abuse is a crime, and 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, 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, our personal injury lawyers will 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. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate your loved one for their injuries and instead are used to punish the wrongdoers.
They are professional, knowledgeable and they care. From the day I met Zane, I didn’t worry anymore about the outcome, and it was a relief. They break the stereotypes of personal injury attorneys. When you’re hurt, you need someone who is knowledgeable and aggressive and is going to be on your side.
Fatal Nursing Home Abuse
In severe cases, nursing home abuse can lead to wrongful death. If you believe a care facility’s 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 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
Consult with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
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. If anything has made you worried about the level of care your loved one is receiving, ask questions of the facility and staff. Often, you must be the advocate for your loved one and notify staff and facility administration if there is a problem.
If your loved one has been seriously injured or worse, contact The Cagle Law Firm. We will investigate the situation to determine what has happened and who is responsible.
Get a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in St. Louis by calling us toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681.