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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

The attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm handle medical malpractice cases, including those involving nursing home abuse and neglect. When nursing home abuse and/or neglect occurs  you may be able to bring a claim for medical malpractice or negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a nursing home it may be the result of abuse and neglect. As such, it is in your benefit to seek out more information as to what occurred and see if a claim can be made. Information on what nursing home abuse and neglect is and what it might mean for you can be found below. Additionally, the medical malpractice attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm invite you to contact us, either at 937-228-2306 or 1-800-VERDICT for a free consultation to see if you have a claim for medical malpractice or medical negligence.

What is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

Nursing home abuse and neglect refers to the mistreatment of patients in a nursing home, often at the hands of the very staff that is tasked taking care of the patients. Many individuals live in nursing homes in order to receive the medical care and attention they require. Their residence in a nursing home may be temporary or more permanent in nature. For example, a patient may be admitted to a nursing home for a traumatic injury that requires constant and consistent attention and care only during rehabilitation process. A more permanent example would be where a patient is admitted because they may be at an age where they are unable to care for themselves, often due to physical frailty or mental frailty. In this situation a nursing home may offer better attention and care to an individual who is no longer be able to effectively care for themselves.

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect occurs more frequently than most people realize. It has begun to receive more national attention in recent years as more reports have been made and more studies have been conducted evidencing that nursing facilities and staff may operate below the standards of care established for nursing facilities. Abuse and neglect occurs when the attendants or medical professionals tasked with the care of a nursing home patient mistreats, neglects, abuses, or even abandons that occupant. It can take the form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, or even sexual abuse. It may also take the form of financial exploitation or healthcare fraud. It may also occur when a staff member or caretaker fails to protect a victim from abuse at the hands of other staff or other residents. Unfortunately, many victims of nursing home abuse and neglect are unable to fight against the abuse, due to their physical or mental frailty.

When you or your loved one is in a nursing home, or any medical facility, it is important to stay vigilant to the possibility of abuse and neglect. This is because occupants who are being abused may be reluctant or unable to speak out, either due to fear of retaliation or due to their condition or disability. Listed below are some potential signs which may indicate nursing home abuse or neglect.

  • Frequent complaints from victim that they are not being properly taken care of
  • Mood change, often unexplained
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Bodily injury, such as bumps or bruises, often unexplained
  • Reports of incontinence, especially when incontinence was not an issue before
  • Falls, especially if not an isolated incident
  • Passive, emotionless, withdrawn behavior
  • Dehydration
  • Refusal to eat or participate in daily activities
  • Confusion, disorientation, hesitation in common daily tasks
  • Lack of personal items or a less-than-pleasant living environment
  • Caretakers unable to explain patient’s condition
  • Caretakers substitution of strong medications or sedatives for supervision
  • Bed sores and other lesions

Nursing home abuse and neglect can produce serious consequences. If left unchecked, victims of nursing home abuse and neglect can face physical injury, depression, the worsening of current medical conditions, permanent disabilities, illness, and even death.

Medical and Legal Significance of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

When harm is caused through nursing home abuse and neglect the injured patient may have a claim for medical malpractice and/or medical negligence. While some patients may not realize it, doctors are most often responsible for supervising patient care in nursing homes. However, doctors are not the only potential parties who can be sued for medical malpractice or negligence. Claims can also be brought against nurses, patient care technicians (PCT) and other staff members of a nursing home. The nursing home itself and/or its corporate entity can also be held responsible for the abuse and neglect of the patients.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect cases have a variety of elements, and may feature a variety of harm or injuries. Some potential injuries that have been seen in past nursing home abuse and neglect cases are:

  • Bed sores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Sepsis
  • Medication errors
  • Falls
  • Resident wandering and elopement from facilities
  • Verbal Abuse or Emotional Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Financial Exploitation

Nursing home abuse and neglect is particularly concerning because it involves injury to those people who are unable to care for themselves, which is why they sought help from a nursing home in the first place. Moreover, any harm suffered as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect is avoidable. If the doctors, nurses and staff follow the rules for basic patient safety, it is unlikely that any abuse and neglect would ever occur. If you suspect that the doctors, nurses or other staff members have failed to follow the rules for patient safety and harm has occurred it was probably due to abuse and neglect. This could form the basis of a claim for medical malpractice or medical negligence.

Seeking Legal Counsel and Guidance

If you or a loved one has been injured due to nursing home abuse and neglect, you may have a legal claim for medical malpractice or medical negligence. The medical malpractice attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm have the skill and experience to discover whether your or your loved one’s health issues were the result of nursing home abuse and neglect. Medical malpractice and medical negligence is preventable. It is caused by the error, improper action, or lack of action by medical professionals or nursing home attendants. It is important to hold those medical professionals to the proper standards of medical care and hold them accountable for the harms and losses they cause. The Brannon Law Firm can help hold those at fault accountable.

Additionally, treatment may be difficult, both financially and emotionally. Efforts to fix or reverse the effects of nursing home abuse and neglect can be severe and long lasting, requiring additional medical treatment, loss of quality of life, loss of income and costly medical bills. It is important to ensure you or your loved one has the assistance and care they deserve to live the best life possible. The Brannon Law Firm can help with that process.

At the Brannon Law Firm, we have represented many individuals who were unfortunate victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. We have obtained favorable verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We invite you to contact us, either at 937-228-2306 or 1-800-VERDICT for a free consultation. The Brannon Law Firm is proud to serve clients in Dayton and throughout the State of Ohio.