Making the decision to place your elderly loved one in an assisted living facility can be difficult. You trust that the staff will take adequate care of your loved one. While this is the case in most instances, some facilities fail to meet this standard, resulting in devastating harm to elderly residents.
If your loved one was abused or neglected in a senior care facility, a Nashville nursing home abuse lawyer could help get your loved one compensation from the parties that failed to provide adequate care. A compassionate injury attorney in the area could provide reliable guidance during this difficult time.
Check the Tennessee Abuse Registry
Any family that suspects abuse should immediately check the Tennessee Department of Health abuse registry, which discloses the names of people who have abused, neglected, or stolen property from vulnerable persons, including elderly patients in long-term care facilities. If a family member’s caregiver is listed, contact a nearby nursing home abuse attorney to investigate the matter further.
Signs of Elderly Resident Mistreatment
While an elderly resident may come forward with allegations of abuse, in most cases the family must pay attention to symptoms of mistreatment. Common signs of neglect or abuse include:
- Unexplained bruising or cuts
- Changes in resident’s mood
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Unusual changes to wills, deeds, trusts, or powers of attorney
- Unexplained check or credit card purchases
Family members who believe their loved one is showing symptoms of abuse or neglect should pull them out of the nursing home, contact local authorities, and reach out to a reliable attorney immediately.
What are the Different Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes?
Many people only consider physical violence when they think of abuse. However, lawyers in Nashville have seen elderly residents suffer several types of mistreatment at the hands of a negligent nursing home. While physical abuse is common, so is sexual, emotional, and financial.
Physical and Sexual Abuse
Physical abuse includes any violent or nonconsensual physical contact, such as slapping, the use of restraints, or overmedicating. Patients may also be subject to sexual contact by a caregiver or another patient.
Emotional abuse occurs when someone intimidates or degrades a resident. This can be done through threats of harm or bullying by either staff or other residents.
Financial abuse occurs when a patient’s valuables are stolen, including wedding rings, credit cards, checks, or identity theft. In some cases, this can be done through the changing of a resident’s estate plan.
Neglect as a Form of Abuse
Neglect is based on the tort of negligence. In other words, comparing the care a nursing home provides to its residents to that a reasonable person would provide under the same circumstances.
Nursing Home Negligence
Qualified personnel should be hired to take care of vulnerable nursing home residents, especially those compromised by mental and physical disabilities. If a long-term care facility neglects to hire qualified staff, including those who do not pass a background check or are not screened for one, they may be liable for any resulting harm to residents.
Nursing homes also should train employees to appropriately care for their residents. Lack of training could also be evidence that the nursing home was negligent.
Even if a nursing home follows all the rules in vetting employees, sometimes those employees are negligent and could be held liable in court. Some ways employees are negligent include:
- Neglecting to assist patient with personal hygiene
- Neglecting to make sure a patient is fed
- Ignoring medication schedule
- Ignoring unsanitary conditions
- Ignoring safety hazards that could cause a patient to fall
As these cases can quickly become complex, family members who suspect nursing home abuse should contact a Nashville lawyer to review their case.
Call a Nashville Nursing Home Abuse Attorney for Guidance
Discovering your loved one has been mistreated or abused in a nursing home is devastating. Fortunately, the state allows you to hold the negligent caretakers or facility financially liable for the harm done.
A Nashville nursing home abuse lawyer could guide you through the complicated process and help you hold the negligent facility accountable. Call today to get started.