Placing your loved one in an assisted-living center, nursing home, or long-term care facility can cause anxiety for family members and the patient. Discovering that your loved one suffered elder abuse and neglect at the hands of those working in the facility can cause feelings of sorrow and anger that the people in charge of caring for them neglected their duty.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, approximately one-third of nursing homes violated federal standards protecting residents, and one in ten violations led to severe injury. A survey revealed that 44% had been abused, and 95% had been victims of or witnessed neglect.
The nursing home abuse attorneys at Nessler & Associates protect the legal rights of vulnerable elderly residents of nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and assisted living facilities. We understand state and federal nursing home abuse laws and can seek justice on behalf of your elderly loved one. Contact us for a complimentary case evaluation.
Learn what makes residents more vulnerable to abuse, what types of abuse occur in the nursing home setting, and who is liable for the physical and emotional injuries your loved one endured and the pain and humiliation they caused.
Who is Most at Risk?
Nursing home residents with cognitive impairment from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or after a stroke experience abuse and neglect more frequently than mentally healthy residents. Other people at risk include those with trouble performing daily activities such as dressing and eating, those with behavioral difficulties, and those who have experienced previous abuse. New admissions, people who suffered intimate partner violence, and racial minorities also encounter abuse more often than other residents.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services monitor the worst-performing nursing homes in the United States. They release a monthly report naming the monitored facility and those that might be added to the program. CMS currently limits the program to 88 facilities, while more than 500 qualify. The Illinois Department of Public Health posts nursing home violations every quarter.
Illinois Adult Protective Services received more than 20,800 reports of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of elderly and disabled people from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. 23% of these reports involved people in assisted living facilities, and 82% were older adults over 60, highlighting the vulnerability of elderly people to abuse and neglect by those charged with their care.
Types of Nursing Home Misconduct
Victims of nursing home abuse suffer a wide range of physical, emotional, psychological, and financial damage. Social workers, family members, and medical personnel report most instances of nursing home abuse to Adult Protective Services (APS) or the police department.
If you notice unexplained injuries or a sudden change in a family member who is a nursing home resident, you can call the Senior Helpline at (800) 252-8966 during regular business hours. You can also seek legal guidance. The nursing home abuse lawyers with Nessler & Associates can investigate the situation and advise you on the best legal course of action regarding the treatment of your loved one.
Common signs of abuse include unexplained physical injuries, such as broken bones and head injuries. Physical blows and pushing of residents lead to many of these injuries. The Illinois APS reported a total of 2,689 instances of physical abuse on elderly citizens.
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act prohibits nursing home staff from using chemical restraints, such as sedatives or physical restrictions that immobilize a resident as punishment or for their convenience. Excessive use of these devices constitutes physical abuse.
A personal injury attorney with Nessler & Associates can hold the responsible party accountable for the pain and suffering you or your loved one endured. We can help you seek a settlement from the nursing home, the administrators, staff members, or medical professionals in charge of taking care of your family member. Financial consequences may help change the behavior of private companies that focus on earning profits.
Mental and Emotional Abuse
Psychological abuse makes residents question the validity of their thoughts, perceptions, and memories. This abuse includes gaslighting and is typically considered mental abuse.
People use emotional abuse techniques to control the emotions of their victims. They accomplish this through verbal abuse, such as yelling, cursing, and insulting. Mental and emotional abuse can cause long-term damage to the resident’s mental health. According to APS, Illinois saw 4,148 reports of indicated emotional or mental abuse from 2019 to 2020.
A skilled attorney handling a nursing home abuse case knows how to investigate mental and emotional abuse claims. We work with medical and psychological experts who can examine the victim and review their medical records. We can also aid in researching the facility and employees in question.
Although rare, sexual abuse does happen in the long-term care setting. If your loved one contracts a sexually transmitted infection, exhibits more pain or discomfort sitting or walking, or complains of vaginal or anal bleeding, pain, or irritation, you should suspect sexual abuse. Behavioral signs include sudden withdrawal, personality changes, and panic attacks. APS sexual abuse complaints totaled 452 in its report.
These cases require a compassionate approach that preserves the victim’s dignity. Our experienced lawyers understand the mental and emotional impact sexual abuse can have, and we fight for their right to fair compensation. We will fight the long-term care facility that tries to cover up the abuse and do what is best for our client.
Abuse by Neglect
When a nursing home resident has a medical condition that hinders their ability to perform the activities of daily living, they are at higher risk of suffering neglect. Residents with limited mobility may develop pressure ulcers or bed sores. They might exhibit signs of emotional distress at their lack of personal hygiene.
Falls in nursing homes cause many injuries, such as a hip fracture, which can lead to death. The lack of fall prevention for nursing home patients constitutes neglect.
Other signs of nursing home neglect include failing to provide necessary dental and medical care. For instance, residents with an infected tooth or bone fracture should receive proper care immediately. 9,888 APS-reported incidents included some form of neglect.
Law firms with extensive experience in nursing home and medical neglect cases can help you or your loved one hold the negligent nursing home employees responsible for their actions. We can research the history of the employees, nursing home facilities, and the companies that own them to detect patterns of neglect and abuse. We can also identify the people and systems that contributed to the negligence.
Financial abuse includes the unauthorized use of debit or credit cards, checkbooks, and cash. It can also include the nursing home managing the resident’s money without authorization, which is prohibited by the state’s nursing home law—6,308 reports to APS concern financial malfeasance.
Nursing home lawyers can examine these claims to determine who stole the money. This process might include reviewing security footage of where a staff member used the cards or checks for personal purposes or tracking online purchases to delivery addresses.
Who is Liable for Nursing Home Abuse?
Abuse in nursing homes does not repeatedly happen under good leadership. Depending on your case, the victim of abuse might be able to hold the staff, administration, and owners liable for their injuries and suffering.
Nursing Home Staff Members
Individual staff members conduct abusive behavior. They commit medication errors, fail to monitor patients and report issues adequately, and take out their frustrations on elderly residents.
One study explains that staff with inadequate training for dealing with cognitively impaired or behaviorally complex residents significantly increases incidents of abuse. Long-term care facilities have lost more than 225,000 staff members since March 2020. This shortage and increased turnover shrink the proportion of workers with adequate training and experience.
Nursing Home Administration
Your personal injury attorney could hold the administration in an abusive facility responsible for poor care, failure to punish or fire abusive employees, inadequate supervision of employees, and inadequate staffing. Fewer employees mean fewer people to provide the necessary care. This lack of staff creates more neglect and abuse.
Nursing Home Owners
Licensed facilities owned by investors want to maximize profit. They do this by devoting fewer resources to the direct care of their residents, leading to more neglect and abuse. Not-for-profit nursing facilities provide better care on all measures studied.
The nursing home abuse law firm of Nessler & Associates can investigate claims of elder abuse in nursing home facilities, identify all of the negligent parties, and file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. This process will help protect people in nursing homes from abusive employees and indifferent owners.
We Protect Elderly Patients’ Rights
All forms of elder abuse in the nursing home violate the fundamental human rights of elderly people. If you suspect the abuse or neglect of a loved one, contact the personal injury lawyers with Nessler & Associates.
We can help your elderly family member fix financial affairs after the theft of credit cards or nursing home fraud. We can help your loved one get the appropriate medical care for untreated medical conditions or nursing home injuries. We can help you recover compensation for the pain and humiliation the abuse caused.
We operate on a contingency fee basis that allows anyone to access legal services, regardless of income. We have a successful track record of recovering large settlements for victims of abusive treatment.
Call Nessler & Associates at (800) 727-8010 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss how to pursue the justice and damages your elderly loved one deserves.