What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
March 13th, 2015
Expereinced Attorney Fighting for Nursing Home Abuse Victims in Massachusets and Rhode Island
No one likes to think about it happening, but we all know it does. Every day, elderly nursing home residents throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts suffer as a result of inadequate and abusive care.
However, when you’re in the situation, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if what you’re experiencing is normal. This article discusses three common indicators of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Signs that You or Your Loved One May Be a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
1. Your Care Plan Isn’t Being Followed
Federal law requires nursing homes to develop and continuously implement care plans for each one of their patients. Unfortunately, the reality is that this obligation often isn’t met. In fact, in 2013, the federal government reported that 37% of skilled nursing facilities nationwide were either failing to:
- Develop compliant care plans, or
- Provide care in accordance with their patients’ plans.
This means that billions of dollars are being spent every year on elder care that doesn’t meet federal standards.
2. The Nursing Home Is Inadequately Staffed
Federal law also requires adequate staffing at all nursing homes. As a general rule, facilities need to be properly staffed in order to ensure that no patient’s needs go unnoticed or unattended. However, many residents also require special care and accommodations. If a nursing home accepts a patient with specific needs, it is required to have appropriate personnel on hand to ensure that those needs are met.
For example, just because you regularly see attendants walking in the common areas doesn’t mean that the nursing home is meeting its obligations. If you require assistance to eat, get dressed, go to the bathroom, or get outdoors, you are entitled to have an adequate number of appropriately-trained personnel there to provide assistance when you need it.
3. You or Your Loved One Sustained an Avoidable Injury
Likewise, just because you are elderly or frail doesn’t mean that you should expect to be injured while under the care of a nursing home. However, sadly, nursing home residents are injured every day as a result of improper or inadequate care. The following types of injuries and conditions are all typically suggestive of nursing home abuse or neglect:
- Broken bones and severe contusions resulting from falls
- Bed sores and ulcers
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Emotional deterioration
- Injuries consistent with physical or sexual abuse
Your Rights as a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is both a criminal act and a civil wrong that entitles you to just compensation. You don’t have to take it. In fact, taking action can benefit both you and your fellow residents – who may very well be suffering from the same treatment as you.
If you are suffering as a result of abusive treatment, it is important that you feel empowered to protect yourself without fear of inaction or retaliation. To learn more about your rights and what we can do to help, contact the Bottaro Law Firm at 401-383-5007 or fill out our online contact form.