The decision to admit an elderly loved one into an assisted care facility, or nursing home, can be a tough one. The Kansas City nursing home abuse attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC understand that families of those relocated to nursing homes expect the best care for their elders. Actions such as being treated with dignity, being respected, and given appropriate care are all things that senior citizens admitted into nursing homes deserve. Unfortunately, there are many instances where the attendants running nursing homes engage in negligent conduct or even abuse the patients living in these homes.
Nursing home abuse and negligence is a serious issue in Kansas City, MO. Nationwide, it is estimated that 1 in 20 elderly citizens placed in nursing homes will experience some form of negligent conduct.
Types of Elder Abuse Cases We Handle
Nursing home abuse and negligence can take many, often grim, faces. Types of abuse and negligence can include:
- Assaults or attacks on the patient
- Unnecessary restraint, both with physical restraints and with medications
- Deliberately withholding food or water
- Sexual abuse
- Wrongful death
- Falls due to lack of supervision
- Medication errors, administering the wrong drug
Mental or Emotional Abuse
- Isolation or not allowing a resident to socialize
- Disrespecting a patient
- Demeaning or humiliating a patient
- Ignoring a patient’s requests
- Psychological abuse
- Stealing from a resident
- Writing fraudulent checks under a resident’s name
- Overcharging for services, or charging for bogus services
- Identity theft
In some instances of nursing home negligence, the act itself can be an omission, or failure to act, on the part of caretakers. Since many nursing homes have a high turnover rate, some nursing home staff may not be aware of certain procedures or specific needs of residents.
Inadequately trained personnel can be held liable for the injuries, damages, or even wrongful deaths that their negligent behavior causes. Being a new employee does not get one off the hook in terms of liability if their conduct caused a serious injury or death. Turning a blind eye toward the needs of a resident is considered negligence and is grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
What Are Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
Statistics for assisted living neglect and abuse are difficult to obtain and widely inaccurate. Experts believe statistics are far lower than the actual percentages of seniors who suffer nursing home neglect or abuse, due to significant underreporting.
Your loved one may never report mistreatment or elder abuse at an assisted living facility out of fear, embarrassment or the physical/mental inability to do so. It is up to the residents loved ones to communicate and visit with an elderly person often to look for signs of abuse.
- Physical signs. Unexplained injuries or frequent trips to the hospital could be red flags. Be wary of injuries such as bite marks, burns, broken bones, fall injuries, bedsores, black eyes and bruises in hidden places. These could be signs of physical elder abuse.
- Emotional signs. Living with abuse or neglect could have a noticeable effect on your loved ones mood or personality. Look for changes such as sudden anxiety, depression, shame, guilt, anger, frustration, embarrassment, fear or withdrawal.
- Behavioral signs. If your loved ones behaviors inexplicably change while in a nursing home, investigate for possible abuse or neglect. Examples include emotional outbursts, ceasing favorite activities or not wanting to be around certain employees.
- Financial signs. Have a trusted family member or professional keep an eye on your loved ones bank accounts and assets. Unusual withdrawals, checks written out to cash and lavish gifts could all be signs of elder financial exploitation.
Nursing home abuse can have wide-ranging effects on victims. It is important to watch carefully for potential signs of nursing home abuse as a family member or loved one. Catching abuse or neglect early could save your loved one a great deal of pain and suffering. As soon as you believe nursing home residents are being abused or neglected, call 911 to report the issue. File a complaint with the nursing home and take your loved one to a safe place. Then, contact us for a consultation with an attorney.
What Is Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing home abuse is not the only type of tort a facility could be guilty of in Missouri. A nursing home, long-term care center or rehabilitation facility could also commit negligence. Negligence is not intentional, like abuse, but can be equally harmful to residents. Negligence refers to the nursing home’s failure to uphold its duties of care to residents. Nursing homes owe many duties of care based on state and federal laws.
- Respect residents’ Bill of Rights
- Provide adequate and appropriate care
- Look out for residents’ emotional, physical and psychosocial well being
- Respond to complaints promptly and properly
- Hire and train competent health care workers
- Bring in emergency medical care when necessary
- Inform family members of any changes in medical condition
- Allow a resident to participate in his or her own care
- Treat residents with dignity and respect
If a nursing home or one of its staff members fails to meet its standards of care and a resident suffers an injury as a result, the facility could be liable for damages. A failure in the standard of care could refer to an action or omission another facility would not have made in the same circumstances.
Proving nursing home liability takes establishing the victim’s injuries or losses would not have happened but for the facility’s negligence. The Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyers from Dickerson Oxton can help you with this burden of proof.
Seek Justice for Nursing Home Abuse in Missouri
Kansas City nursing home abuse and negligence is a serious issue. The elderly person, often frail and vulnerable, members of society that are admitted into nursing homes deserve basic rights and accommodations. Things like respect, due care, and adequate supervision are all traits that seniors should enjoy when placed in assisted living centers. Sadly, oftentimes due to simple human greed or cruelty, elders are abused and some even suffer a wrongful death as a result.
If you suspect that a loved one you know is the victim of nursing home abuse, don’t hesitate to contact a Kansas City nursing home abuse attorney at Dickerson Oxton, LLC today. Our personable attorneys know that this is a sensitive matter and are here to offer client specific strategies to make your case a success. You can reach one of our experienced personal injury and accident attorneys at (913) 428-8220. Alternatively, you can fill out our free case evaluation form on our website and we will get back to you promptly.
Free Consultation with a Kansas City Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Being a smaller law firm, we are directly available to our clients and handle all cases with the utmost compassion. Unlike our larger competitors, who route calls through paralegals and assistants, our nursing home abuse lawyers are always directly available for any questions or concerns our clients may have.
Adopting this client-first mentality allows us to personally connect with each victim and understand how they are suffering in order to assess their case. The Kansas City nursing home abuse attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC are dedicated to a personal approach to compassionate representation. At our Kansas City, MO law firm, your case evaluation is always free of charge. When we do accept cases, we operate on a contingent fee basis. We choose to operate this way for the sole benefit of our clients; if we don’t win your case, you won’t pay anything.
With over a decade of combined litigation experience, the Kansas City nursing home abuse and negligence attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC have the knowledge needed to help you with your case. Please call or contact us today. Together we can stop the cycle of abuse.