The decision to put a beloved older family member in a nursing home is never easy. Many factors influence that decision. When you and your family realize that a nursing home may be the safest place for your relative, you imagine them being able to spend their remaining years being treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. Unfortunately, that is not always the case as sometimes our loved ones can suffer from being the victim of nursing home neglect.
If your older loved one has been in a nursing home and is showing signs of neglect, compensation may be available. The Washington D.C. injury lawyers at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, have fought for their client’s rights for over 40 years. Call us today to see how we can help you find justice for your loved one.
What is nursing home neglect?
When you move a loved one into a nursing home facility, you expect their basic needs to be met. Failure to meet a resident’s basic needs is neglect and is a form of nursing home abuse or malpractice. Basic needs include food, water, hygiene care, clean clothes, and proper medical treatment.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
When you visit with your aging relative, there are signs you can look for to make sure they’re being well cared for. Watch for changes in behavior as well as physical signs of neglect. Remember, a caregiver can cover up signs of abuse before a family visit or try to limit family access.
Sometimes, older people cannot communicate what may be going on in the nursing home. Other times, they may feel embarrassed or ashamed because they cannot care for themselves. Common signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Bruises or burn marks on their skin
- Skin tears, cuts, or lacerations
- Broken bones or fractures
- Sleep difficulties
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
- Depression or anxiety
- Violent or aggressive actions
- Signs of malnutrition or dehydration
- Soiled bed linens
Every neglect case is unique, and no two people will exhibit all of the same signs. The signs listed above could indicate nursing home neglect and should be taken seriously. If the nursing home staff fails to provide a reasonable explanation for concerning signs, talk to a nursing home neglect attorney at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, LLP.
Troubling Signs from Staff Members
There may be times when your interactions with nursing home staff cause you to question their concern for their patients or their overall competence. The attitudes and behaviors of the staff can be a telltale sign of neglect. Nursing home staff behaviors that can potentially be signals of neglect include:
- Lack of response to requests from your aging relative
- Failure to respond to concerns about conflict between residents
- Improper administration of necessary medications
- Disrespect or poor attitudes toward residents
Note any concerning behavior you see. Write down any concerns you have about your loved one or the nursing home staff. Your detailed notes can benefit you if you decide to report nursing home neglect.
When to Intervene
If your loved one expresses that they are not well cared for, take their claims seriously. Even if you have not noticed any signs of neglect or malpractice, their reports of neglect should be handled appropriately.
At the very least, their claims should be reported to the nursing home administrator. If you have made any notes about concerns you’ve noticed, share these as well.
Knowing when or if to take legal action on behalf of your loved one isn’t easy. However, signs of neglect should never be met with a dismissive attitude.
If you are the person responsible for the care of your older relative, you have a decision to make. A nursing home neglect lawyer from Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, can help you figure out what to do during this difficult time.
Do you have a valid nursing home abuse claim?
In many cases, a relative can file a nursing home malpractice claim on behalf of their older relative. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you know whether you have a valid nursing home lawsuit. For your case to have merit, it must show that:
- The nursing home has a legal obligation to provide care for your loved one
- The nursing home did not meet their legal obligation
- The breach of care on the part of the nursing home caused harm to your relative
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help ensure that your loved one gets the justice they deserve.
We Will Fight for Your Loved One
When your loved ones cannot care for themselves, you need a lawyer with experience. Time is critical if your aging relative is suffering from nursing home neglect. Contact a nursing home neglect attorney at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, LLP. Let us help you restore the dignity of your beloved older relative.