No one likes to talk about nursing home abuse. Unfortunately, the lack of conversation about the topic can leave you wondering where to turn if allegations arise. When our loved ones live in a nursing home, we expect they will be treated with dignity, kindness, and respect. Unfortunately, statistics tell us our expectations are not always met. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in ten people aged 60 or older experience some form of elder abuse.
In some cases, the victim of nursing home abuse can file a lawsuit to recover compensation for the losses they suffered due to the abuse. A Lexington nursing home abuse attorney can review the details of your case and determine if you or your loved one qualify to file a claim. If you or a loved one suffered nursing home neglect or abuse, contact a lawyer at Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, today.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse happens in a variety of ways. Sometimes, circumstances in a facility or outside of it can also play a role. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the number of financial scams targeting seniors. Other types of nursing home abuse are:
- Physical abuse,
- Psychological abuse,
- Sexual abuse, and
If you suspect your loved one is suffering abuse in a nursing home, contact a Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
Nursing Home Abuse in Kentucky
Kentucky established an Elder Abuse Committee in 2005 that is responsible for making policy recommendations concerning nursing home abuse and raising public awareness about elder mistreatment. From July 2019 to June 2020, the Office of the Inspector General received 508 complaints alleging abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property from long-term care facilities. The Office of the Inspector General substantiated about 22% of those complaints. Kentucky participates in the National Adult Maltreatment Report System (NAMRS), which compiles reports of elder maltreatment across the United States. This data can help legislators and other experts pass laws that punish and deter abuse more effectively.
Signs of Nursing Home Physical and Psychological Abuse
NAMRS describes physical abuse as the use of force or violence resulting in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment. Examples of physical abuse include:
- Punches or strikes,
- Grabbing, or
Physical abuse may leave behind signs like bruises or broken bones. However, this is not always the case. If you see signs of nursing home abuse, report your concerns as soon as possible and contact a Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer.
Psychological or emotional abuse is the infliction of anguish, pain, or distress through verbal or non-verbal acts. Emotional abuse can include:
- Intimidation or threats,
- Harassing a patient, and
- Ignoring a patient.
Psychological abuse is often harder to detect than physical abuse. Inability to sleep, a sudden change in personality, or depression may be signs of emotional abuse in a nursing home.
Warning Signs of Financial Exploitation in Nursing Homes
In some cases, nursing home staff use the power and authority they have over residents to exploit them financially. NAMRS describes financial exploitation as the illegal or improper use of an individual’s funds, property, or assets for another person’s profit or advantage. A nursing home employee may commit financial abuse by:
- Stealing money or property from a resident’s room,
- Using a resident’s credit card,
- Forging a resident’s signature on a check made out to themself,
- Convincing a resident to name the employee as a beneficiary in the resident’s will; and
- Coercing a resident to give them money.
Signs of financial abuse in a nursing home can include:
- A drastic decrease in account balances,
- Unexplained charges on bank statements, and
- Frequent ATM withdrawals.
If your elderly loved one is a victim of nursing home financial abuse, contact an attorney at Gladstein Law Firm today.
NAMRS describes neglect as the failure of a caregiver to provide goods or services necessary to maintain a person’s health and safety. Examples of neglect include:
- Failing to give residents adequate food and water,
- Keeping the nursing home in a state of disrepair,
- Forgetting to give residents their medication,
- Failing to provide a clean and hygienic environment,
- Failing to provide prompt and adequate medical attention, and
- Negligent hiring practices.
Because of the vulnerability of elderly people, certain acts may constitute neglect in a nursing home that would not be neglectful in another scenario.
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
NAMRS describes nursing home sexual abuse as any non-consensual sexual contact, including sexual contact with someone incapable of providing consent. If your loved one complains of sexual abuse in their nursing home, you should contact authorities and a lawyer as soon as possible. Law enforcement will handle the criminal portion of the case, but a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer in Lexington can help you hold the nursing home facility accountable for the harm they caused.
How Can a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Lexington Help My Case?
An experienced nursing home abuse attorney in Lexington can offer valuable advantages to you when you’re pursuing a personal injury claim. Our team can help you by:
- Gathering evidence to prove the abuse,
- Locating witnesses to testify on your behalf,
- Assessing potential damages,
- Negotiating with opposing parties, and
- Preparing your case for trial, if necessary.
No matter what your case requires, we will do everything within our power to help you get the results you deserve.
Contact Gladstein Law Firm to Talk to a Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to nursing home abuse or neglect, you might be entitled to financial relief. The Gladstein Law Firm team can walk you through the complex personal injury claim process and answer all your questions. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to help you hold the abuser responsible for their reprehensible actions. The Gladstein Law Firm team is committed to helping our clients secure the best outcome possible. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.