Lawyers for nursing home abuse prevention also work to protect residents’ rights.
Between 106,000 and 140,000 elderly Americans likely will suffer from nursing home abuse next year.
Some 1.4 million Americans live in nursing homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Recent studies suggest that between 7.6 and 10 percent of these elderly citizens have been subjected to nursing home abuse within the past year, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
Your family member residing in a nursing home is not alone and unprotected. Besides the national Ombudsman program that gives nursing home residents access to an unbiased, outside community member to whom they can report abuse or neglect, the nursing home must operate under state and federal guidelines, particularly if it receives federal funds (Medicaid and Medicare) for services to its residents.
In addition, lawyers for nursing home abuse litigation are available as resources for the family and resident, ready to aid in compelling the nursing home to remedy intolerable situations or provide restitution and compensation for proven cases of nursing home abuse.
Quality nursing homes take their obligations to prevent abuse seriously. This means staff screening to prevent the hiring of perpetrators of abuse, and staff training to identify and prevent abuse. It means awareness of staff being overworked or stressed, and reducing high turnover. The NCEA has an entire blueprint for nursing homes and families to work together to prevent nursing home negligence and abuse.
One of the best means of preventing your loved one in residence at a nursing home from being abused is your frequent presence. When you visit at irregular times and days and visit for extended times, you are alerting nursing home staff that their actions are closely monitored. You show awareness of your loved one’s day-to-day condition and the environment.
Identifying Nursing Home Abuse
The NCEA reports that for 2010, around seven percent of complaints to long-term care Ombudsmen were for abuse, exploitation or neglect. Residents’ families may have difficulty identifying signs of elder abuse in nursing homes. Lawyers for nursing home abuse victims recognize common indicators that residents of nursing homes face abuse or neglect.
What you should look out for
- Arguments between staff members and the resident
- Quick and noticeable changes in mood or behavior in the resident when staff members are near
- Unexplained injuries—bruises, welts, scars, and any symmetrical markings
- Sprains, dislocations or bone breaks
- Broken eyeglasses or damaged frames
- Bruising or redness on wrists that may indicate involuntary restraint
- Nursing home staff discouraging or preventing family from visiting the resident without staff members present
Lawyers for nursing home abuse prevention and litigation also see other forms of abuse and neglect among residents:
- Emotional abuse—Non-dementia residents using self-stimulation techniques, such as rocking, sucking fingers, or mumbling to themselves, to disassociate from verbal abuse by staff members
- Sexual abuse—Bruising or bleeding in intimate areas, venereal disease or genital infection
- Neglect—Bed sores, weight loss, dehydration and unsanitary conditions are all indicators
- Financial exploitation—Unnecessary services or merchandise bought with the resident’s money, an increase in monthly expenses, or personal valuables disappearing
Lawyers for Nursing Home Abuse Protects the Rights of Your Loved Ones
Lawyers for nursing home abuse not only can restore dignity to the victim and victim’s families, they can seek compensation for lost work days, suffering, pain, and injury. Recovering from nursing home negligence and abuse may require intensive therapies, special diet, and ongoing treatments.
Ginsburg & Associates has lawyers for nursing home abuse on staff ready to help families and nursing home residents in need of basic human rights and protections. Contact Ginsburg & Associates‘ lawyers for nursing home abuse prevention and litigation today.