Nursing homes are responsible for providing care for people who are vulnerable and unable to care for themselves. While some workers and people in charge of long-term care facilities take that responsibility seriously, others take advantage of the people in their care and deliberately inflict harm.
The effects of nursing home abuse can be devastating. Abuse of any kind can cause both victims and their families to lose their trust in others.
If your relative has been abused while living in a long-term care facility, a Charlotte nursing home abuse lawyer could assist you with your case. Ben Crump Law, PLLC has represented families across the United States whose loved ones were abused while receiving care in nursing homes. We can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the facility to seek compensation. Call our office today at (800) 712-9119 to speak with a member of our staff.
Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), the abuse of elderly, vulnerable, and dependent adults is a problem that impacts millions of people across the United States. The NCEA also notes that incidents of abuse are greatly underreported.
Nursing home abuse can take numerous forms. Physical abuse may include hitting, slapping, shoving, and force-feeding. Psychological or emotional abuse may include yelling or swearing, ignoring, or punishing residents, or depriving them of opportunities to interact with others.
Sexual abuse can include improper touching or forcing or pressuring a vulnerable adult to perform or participate in sexual acts. Economic abuse may include using money from a resident’s bank account without proper authorization or stealing a victim’s property.
Overmedicating nursing home residents is another form of abuse. Staff members who are overwhelmed and who have trouble managing patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may give elderly residents psychiatric medications that they do not need to keep them docile. This can lead to patients suffering from serious complications, including death.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving Charlotte, call (800) 712-9119
Who Can Abuse Nursing Home Residents
In some cases, the perpetrators of nursing home abuse are staff members. They have easy access to potential victims and may be able to conceal their actions from other employees. Workers can also participate in abuse together or cover for each other.
Others may commit nursing home abuse. Residents may fall victim to individuals who visit the facility, such as delivery and maintenance workers, family members and friends of fellow residents, and even other people who live in the nursing home.
Reach out to Ben Crump Law, PLLC today to learn how a Charlotte nursing home abuse lawyer can help you determine who the responsible party is in your nursing home abuse case.
Charlotte Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 712-9119
Why Nursing Home Abuse Occurs
Residents in nursing homes may be vulnerable to abuse because of understaffing. Since working in a nursing home can be stressful and the pay may be typically low, long-term care facilities could experience high rates of turnover. When managers are unable to find and retain enough qualified workers, they may be more lenient in the hiring process.
They may fail to conduct thorough background checks and allow people with a history of abuse to work in their facilities. They may also fail to provide employees with adequate training on how to prevent abuse, how to recognize possible signs of abuse, and what to do if they suspect that a patient is being mistreated.
Workers who are overwhelmed may lose their tempers and yell at or hit residents. They may also give patients medications to keep them sedated and easy to manage. Employees may take advantage of the control they have over patients and the trust that residents have placed in them to commit acts of sexual abuse.
Understaffing can allow abuse committed by others to go unnoticed. When employees are busy caring for patients, they may think that a coworker who disappeared for some time is also taking care of residents when, in fact, that employee is abusing an elderly patient.
If workers are stressed out and rushing from room to room trying to deal with a heavy caseload, they may be unable to provide each resident with the amount of time and level of care that he or she needs.
Employees may not notice signs of abuse, such as bruises, weight loss, and changes in mood and behavior, or they may not realize that they are signs of abuse. If a resident has a bruise and another employee says the patient fell, an employee may accept that as a reasonable explanation.
Weight loss may be attributed to a chronic illness or a medication side effect, and psychological changes may be viewed as symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
In some cases, nursing home administrators are aware of alleged abuse but fail to take it seriously and investigate it. They may even punish the patient who made an allegation to protect the nursing home from bad publicity and expensive lawsuits and to send a warning to other residents that they will suffer a similar fate if they report abuse they have suffered.
What to Do if You Suspect that Your Loved One Has Been Abused
If you believe that your family member has been abused in a nursing home, gather as much evidence as possible from your relative. Note physical signs of possible abuse, changes in your family member’s demeanor, comments that your relative or someone else made that seemed inappropriate, and other possible forms of evidence. You may also be able to speak with other residents or staff members.
A Charlotte nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help your family pursue justice. The team at Ben Crump, PLLC, can investigate to find out what happened to your relative and who is responsible. If we find that your loved one was abused, we may file a personal injury lawsuit against the facility on your behalf.
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Act Quickly to Seek Justice
According to North Carolina General Statutes (GS) §1-52, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is three years. If you do not file within three years, then you risk not being able to file at all. However, there can be exceptions.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 712-9119 to get started on your case.