Deciding that a loved one should enter a nursing home is a difficult choice that many families have to make when they can no longer properly care for an elderly or infirm relative at home. Although many nursing homes provide the compassionate, round-the-clock care your relative needs, some facilities fall short. Our elders could be subject to financial exploitation, neglect, and even physical abuse. Fortunately, a trustworthy personal injury attorney could aid in their pursuit of justice.
If you or a loved one has suffered from mistreatment at a nursing home, the court system provides a remedy. Explore your options with a Windsor nursing home abuse lawyer, who could advise on whether it makes sense to claim monetary damages against the nursing home.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Family members and other loved ones must be alert to the signs of potential abuse, especially if the nursing home patient is suffering from dementia or mental health challenges. They may be unable to communicate what is happening, afraid to mention it, or might not want to trouble others with their problems.
People are in nursing homes in the first place because they are medically fragile, so sometimes it is difficult to discern the symptoms of abuse. A lawyer might counsel a family to ask the staff for explanations when they note a change in health or behavior. The following are just a few of the red flags that should prompt a family to evaluate the quality of the care their loved one is receiving:
- Unclean facilities
- Poor hygiene
- Resident is agitated, fearful, depressed, or unresponsive
- Repeated falls
- Unexplained injuries
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
It is also important to reach out to a Windsor elder abuse attorney if there is anything suspicious about a resident’s finances that might suggest someone else is taking advantage.
How Should Family Report Any Concerns?
When they suspect abuse, the family should report their concerns immediately to the nursing home, in writing. Families should also document, in writing and with photographs, any potentially relevant observations that might indicate their loved one is being mistreated.
It is important to alert the authorities that abuse is happening at a nursing home. If the patient is in imminent danger, as they would be if they were enduring physical or sexual abuse, it is appropriate to call the police. In cases of general or medical neglect, a concerned loved one could file a report with the Connecticut Department of Health’s Licensing and Investigations Division. In addition, Connecticut General Statute §17a-405 established the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman, which is responsible for protecting the rights of nursing home residents. Families could contact the Ombudsman with their concerns. A lawyer could also demand that a nursing facility preserve evidence and inform their insurer of a potential claim.
Proving Damages in Negligent Nursing Home Cases
Establishing damages in a nursing home case is different than in other personal injury cases because the resident was likely in frail health upon entering the facility. Instead of seeking compensation for things like lost wages, the family might be looking for damages for their loved one’s pain and suffering, humiliation, mental anguish, and diminished ability to enjoy life. In the most tragic cases, where the neglect leads to the patient’s death, families might seek wrongful death damages.
A local nursing home neglect lawyer could collect evidence, including the family’s documentation, and establish that the patient suffered while in the facility’s care. This evidence could bolster any claim for damages the patient or the family makes.
Take Action with a Windsor Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If one person in a nursing home is being neglected or abused, it is possible that others are as well. It is important for everyone’s sake that those who notice signs of neglect or abuse in a nursing home report it to the appropriate authorities so the suspicion can be documented and investigated.
These cases of neglect deserve aggressive action. Taking your concerns to a Windsor nursing home abuse lawyer is an effective way to ensure that your complaints are taken seriously and that the facility is held accountable for their wrongdoing. Call for a free consultation with a legal professional today.