Nursing Home Neglect

By Peter DePaolis

elderly manNursing homes should be loving, nurturing places for the elderly to enjoy spending time with others while being cared for and protected. If your family member is currently living in a Northern Virginia nursing home, you probably assume that the nursing home staff caring for your loved one are treating him or her with the utmost respect and kindness. Nursing homes should be like this and many, in fact, are respectable homes that treat their residents with the proper physical and emotional care. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are created equal and many create an environment of nursing home neglect.

For more than 30 years, the personal injury law firm of Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.  has made nursing homes answer for their mistakes and have gained justice for victims of abuse. We find that our work in Northern Virginia nursing home abuses cases is especially fulfilling in that we are not only acting as a voice for your family member but the legal actions we take also betters the care provided to all current and future residents. This information, provided by our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers, can help you understand how to recognize the warning signs of potential abuse affecting your loved one.

Are Bedsores Caused by Nursing Home Neglect?

Bedsores are the result of neglect. Bedsores develop when a person remains in the same position for an extended period of time, such as bedridden nursing home residents. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are regions of skin damaged by unalleviated pressure. Bedsores will lead to serious infections and death if not timely treated.

Nursing homes have an absolute responsibility to prevent bedsores. Nursing home staff must change the position of all bedridden residents on a regular basis, and staff must change soiled clothing and linens when necessary. If your loved one has developed bedsores, you must take action to obtain proper medical care at once. Learn more about the possible causes and signs of bedsores on our bedsores caused by nursing home negligence page.

What are the Signs of Physical and Emotional Abuse?

When abuse or neglect happens in a nursing home setting, it is typically the result of the nursing home and its staff failing to provide residents with adequate food, water, shelter, clothing or medical care; basic needs to which we believe everyone is entitled regardless of their age, mental or physical abilities.

While physical abuse is the most obvious and brutal form, nursing home injury, neglect and abuse can take a number of forms, such as:

  • Direct physical abuse
  • Neglect
  • Emotional abuse
  • Unlawful use of a patient’s financial resources

For physical abuse in nursing homes, common issues you must be aware of include:

  • Broken bones or bone fractures
  • Bedsores
  • Open wounds
  • Weight loss
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Overmedication
  • Malnourishment or dehydration
  • Signs of sexual assault

Emotional abuse does not leave any physical wounds but can be just as damaging for nursing home residents. It is the hardest form of nursing home neglect to recognize and the most difficult for victims to feel comfortable coming forward with. Forms of emotional abuse and neglect include:

  • Threats
  • Humiliation
  • Isolation

In many cases of nursing home emotional abuse and neglect, victims have shown the following symptoms:

  • Eating less
  • Becoming unhealthy
  • Refusing to communicate with others
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal
  • Confusion
  • Child-like behavior

Elder Abuse Lawyers for Nursing Home Injury Lawsuits

You have the ability to enact positive legal changes that not only benefit your situation but also helps others going through similar hardships or avoid these hardships altogether. If you are concerned about your ability to afford nursing home attorneys, ask us about a contingency fee agreement.

By working on a contingency fees basis, there are no upfront costs for legal representation. You only pay attorney fees if we are successful in gaining compensation on your behalf. If we are not successful, you pay no legal fees. This means there are absolutely no financial risks to seeking the justice you and your loved one deserves. Get answers to your legal questions about nursing home abuse by contacting us at our Virginia law office near you today. Our proven Northern Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys are here to help you.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.