No one wants to entrust their elderly loved one’s care to an unqualified and neglectful nursing home. While most nursing homes have a compassionate and professional staff, not all facilities deserve your trust. We have witnessed the harm that results from nursing home abuse and are dedicated to helping residents assert their legal right to a safe living environment.
At Morgan & Morgan, our nursing home abuse attorneys are committed to holding nursing homes accountable for their negligent or abusive conduct and helping to ensure that other Prestonsburg residents are less likely to suffer from elder abuse. While each case is different, our attorneys seek to ensure our clients are fully compensated for their losses, and most importantly, find an end to the abuse.
If you suspect your loved one is being abused in a nursing home in Kentucky, you may have legal recourse. To learn more about how our Prestonsburg nursing home abuse attorneys may be able to help, please complete our free case evaluation form today.
Types and Signs of Nursing Home Elder Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse is the intentional infliction of distress or harm on a resident. Elder abuse can take many forms, including, but not limited to the following: physical, emotional, and financial exploitation.
Emotional: This is the intentional infliction of fear, degradation or anguish on another person through verbal or nonverbal acts. Signs of emotional abuse or neglect may include:
- Unusual behavior such as sucking, rocking, or biting;
- Depression or development of other psychiatric disorders;
- Unusually low self-esteem;
- Unexplained confusion; and
- Irrational fear.
Physical: This includes the intentional or negligent infliction of harm or injury to the resident. In some cases, it can be difficult to identify nursing home residents who have been physically abused. Very often, members of the nursing home staff will claim that the resident’s injuries were the result of a fall rather than the actual cause nursing home abuse. Some signs include:
- Unexplained bruising;
- Overmedication; and
- Use of excessive restraints.
Financial: This occurs when the facility or caretaker uses the money or assets of a resident for their own personal use. Factors that may contribute to the ability to financially abuse a resident include:
- Residents not having access to or control over their funds;
- Deceit; and
- The use of threats or manipulation.
Examples of financial abuse may include:
- Forged signatures on important documents or checks;
- The sudden disappearance of valuable possessions;
- Unexplained or frequent withdrawals from a bank account;
- The appearance of new names on the resident’s bank card;
- Sudden changes to the resident’s wills, deeds, or trusts; and
- Provision and payment of unnecessary services.
Neglect is the failure of a caretaker to execute the degree of a care expected from a person in their position. This can lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening health problems.
While abuse is committed with intent, nursing home neglect is the result of negligence and indifference. Some of the most common forms of nursing home neglect can include:
- Dehydration and malnutrition;
- Poor hygiene;
- Inadequate food, clothing, and shelter;
- Failure to provide medical treatment for physical and mental health issues;
- Unsanitary conditions; and
- Unexpected death.
In-Home Care Abuse
In some cases, families may elect to provide their loved one with in-home care instead of placing them in a nursing home. This choice may be for financial or personal reasons, or because they fear their elderly relative may be abused or neglected in a nursing home. Unfortunately, elder abuse and neglect can occur with in-home care providers, as well.
Talking to your family member periodically about the care they are receiving can be helpful in finding evidence of abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, some seniors are unable to report abuse due to dementia or Alzheimer’s, or they may be intimidated into silence.
If this is the case and you suspect your loved one is being mistreated, look for traditional signs of abuse and neglect which are seen in nursing homes. As with nursing home abuse and neglect cases, document any evidence you may find. A Prestonsburg attorney can provide assistance by investigating the in-home caretaker and/or the caretaker’s company, reviewing your documents and preparing a legal claim for abuse or neglect.
How Can a Prestonsburg Nursing Home Attorney Help?
If you have suspicions that your family member is being neglected or abused in their nursing home, you will need proof to support your claim should you elect to take legal action.
Contacting a nursing home attorney is an important first step in filing a claim or lawsuit. The investigations specific to your claim will depend on the type of abuse you allege; however, there are steps our attorneys may take in each case, regardless of its nature, including:
- Reviewing the history of an previous complaints about the facility;
- Interviewing other nursing home residents;
- Visiting and gathering their own information to know which areas on which the investigation should focus;
- Ensuring the facility is following mandatory legal regulations;
- Consulting with regulatory agencies for past violations; and
- Interviewing staff members.
Our Prestonsburg attorneys have the experience and resources necessary to collect evidence to substantiate your beliefs. For instance, we have established relationships with experts and the agencies which periodically review nursing home’s compliance with mandatory regulations. These relationships can supplement our attorneys’ investigation and help further substantiate your claim.
Contact a Prestonsburg Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
If you have a family member who you believe is being abused or neglected by their caretakers in Prestonsburg, you may have the right to file a claim to recover compensation.
While no amount of money can erase the physical and emotional damage your family member may have suffered, it can help pay for medical bills, therapy sessions, and other expenses to help your loved one regain normalcy in his or her life. To have an experienced Prestonsburg nursing home abuse attorney review your claim today, please fill out our free case evaluation form.