Dialysis Center Incident Shows Vigilance is Necessary to Protect Elderly Patients

Attorneys Serving the Elderly and their Families in Rhode Island and Massachusetts

An 86-year-old woman spent some unwanted extra time in a Methuen, Massachusetts dialysis clinic, as reported by the Washington Post. Because of a health condition, she was periodically taken from a rehabilitation facility to the dialysis center by ambulance.

All Alone in the Dialysis Center

Following treatment, she ordinarily returned via ambulance to the rehab center. But, on a Saturday in August 2016, she went missing. When her daughter traveled to the dialysis center to determine when she had left, she found the doors locked and the building vacant – well, almost vacant, since she could see her mother still inside through one of the windows. The fire department, responding to her daughter’s 9-1-1 call, secured entry to the building and “rescued” the elderly woman. The firefighters and the daughter found the woman alone, abandoned, and immobile.

Elder Care is an Important Issue

While no one should pass judgment on the dialysis facility until all the facts are in, the incident does point out an important factor involving health care for elderly patients, particularly those confined to rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes: They often are unable to be their own advocates. Family members and friends sometimes need to step in forcefully since the elderly may not be able to do so themselves.

Signs of Elder Abuse

While each situation is unique, health experts point to a number of danger signs that may signal abuse of an elder patient. Those signs include:

  • Unexplained bruises, broken bones, or abrasions
  • Sudden withdrawal from activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Depression or fearful actions, particularly fear of talking openly
  • Poor hygiene, unusual weight loss, bedsores, unattended medical issues
  • Change in spending patterns or sudden withdrawals from bank accounts

What Family and Friends Can Do to Help

Our firm frequently sees injuries and, sadly, untimely deaths resulting from inadequate care of bedsores and other infections. Family and friends with medical authorization of elderly nursing home patients should be vigilant about asking questions of their health care providers. If the medical chart is not available, ask to see it. Ask to speak to the doctor if a change in condition is noted.  Experts say that close family and friends are the most capable of detecting a change in medical condition — whether cognitive or physical — because they know the patient better than anyone. A change in condition should lead to examination and if necessary, further testing.

Has a Loved One Suffered From Abuse at a Nursing Home or Other Facility?

Has a member of your family suffered abuse while in a nursing home or other medical care facility? If so, you need experienced, caring attorneys not only to investigate and bring your claim, but also to assist you in notifying the appropriate authorities of the wrong-doing. The attorneys at Bottaro Law Firm, LLC recognize that each elder abuse case is unique. Proof of abuse can sometimes be difficult. The Bottaro Law Firm, LLC injury lawyers are skilled in all facets of documenting and prosecuting your claim.

While many abuse cases are settled prior to trial, it is important that your attorneys have significant courtroom experience, since that will provide additional incentive for the nursing home or insurance company to deal fairly with you and your loved ones. We have not only years of experience, but we will devote the necessary resources to investigate your loved one’s claim and fight to protect your legal rights. We will pursue your case at no cost until we win. Your love one deserves aggressive counsel. Remember that delay can harm your case. For a free consultation, give us a call at 866-529-9700, or complete our convenient online contact form.