Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
When you entrust the care of your loved one to a nursing home, you expect that the staff will provide excellent care. When signs of nursing home abuse and neglect arise, it can be difficult to accept. Further, most people aren't sure what to do or where to turn in these cases. At the Law Office of Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C., our Brooklyn personal injury attorneys have extensive resources to help victims of nursing home abuse. We can investigate your claim, help you get your loved one into a safe environment, and hold those that are liable accountable for their actions.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing homes are required to maintain a certain standard of care for patients. When a nursing home fails to provide a reasonable level of care, they may be liable for nursing home abuse and neglect.
- Emotional Abuse: Verbal and non-verbal psychological abuse of elderly patients may include threats of a physical or sexual nature, isolation, a complete lack of friendly communication, patronizing or degrading comments, and bullying.
- Physical Abuse: It may surprise you that physical abuse is the second most common type of elderly abuse in nursing homes. Physical abuse can include slapping, punching, kicking, burning, and pushing of elderly patients. It also encompasses improper restraint, denial of food or other basic needs to which the resident is entitled, and over-medicating patients.
- Sexual Abuse: Although it is horrifying for most people to consider, sexual abuse of nursing home patients does occur. If a staff member forces himself or herself on a resident, it is considered sexual abuse. Forms of sexual abuse may include touching, sexual assault, rape, and inappropriate photos of the resident.
- Financial Exploitation: When a staff member takes advantage of a nursing home resident's financial situation, it can have dire consequences on the patient's livelihood. Financial abuse of nursing home residents includes check forgery, deceiving an elderly patient into signing a legal document, stealing money, and failing to pay the patient's bills on time.
- Neglect: Neglect may refer to the staff's failure to maintain the patient's basic hygiene needs (oral care, bathing, grooming), provide food and drinks, and dispense medication on a reasonable, timely schedule.
- Inappropriate Use of Drug Therapies: Over-medicating, failing to dispense medication, and providing the wrong medication can have a seriously adverse effect on a patient's health and well being.
- Theft: When a nursing home staff member steals from the patient, whether it is money, jewelry, or other personal items, the responsible party can be held accountable.
Signs of Neglect
The signs of nursing home neglect will vary depending on the type of abuse. Some signs to look out for include:
The Patient's Physical Condition
- Open wounds
- Weight fluctuations
- Poor hygiene
- Chronic infection
- Hair loss
The Appearance of the Patient's Room
- Dirty or soiled bedding
- Lack of fresh towels and clothes
- Untidy or smelly room
- Personal items missing
The Patient's Psychological State
- Increasingly withdrawn
- Childish behavior
- Sudden change in behavior
The Patient's Finances
- Out of the ordinary bank or ATM transactions
- Bills not paid on time
- A staff member that seems too interested in the patient's finances
In addition, if you are refused or have to wait to see your loved one during visiting hours, this may be a sign of abuse or neglect.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected, our Brooklyn medical malpractice attorneys can investigate your claim. Contact the Law Office of Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C. for a case review.