Senior citizens in nursing homes are among the most vulnerable members of society. They may be suffering from medical conditions that cause them to be dependent on others, as well as cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia. In addition, they may be separated from their family members and largely isolated from the outside world.
People who work in nursing homes have a responsibility to provide attentive and compassionate treatment to those in their care. Unfortunately, the treatment that elderly people in nursing homes receive often falls short of that expectation. In some cases, vulnerable seniors are abused by those trusted to take care of them.
If you believe that your loved one was abused while living in a long-term care facility, your entire family may be feeling angry and devastated. An Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC represents families across the United States and helped them take legal action against the nursing home staff members, administrators, and others who abused their relatives. We may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for the harm your loved one suffered. Call our office today at (800) 712-9119 to speak with a member of our staff.
Types of Abuse Seniors Can Suffer in Long-Term Care Facilities
Nursing home abuse is a widespread problem, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). It can take numerous forms. An individual may experience one or more types of abuse at the hands of a staff member, a fellow resident, someone who comes to the facility for work-related reasons, or an individual who comes to visit another patient.
People who live in nursing homes may be victims of physical abuse. That may include hitting, slapping, punching, pushing, hair-pulling, and other actions that are intended to inflict pain or cause injury.
Providing unnecessary medications is another widespread form of nursing home abuse. Senior citizens with Alzheimer’s and dementia can pose a number of challenges to staff members. Residents who are confused may wander off or behave aggressively, for example.
Staff members frequently give nursing home patients antipsychotic medications that they do not need to keep them docile. That type of abuse can have dangerous consequences since seniors often have serious health problems and take numerous medications that can interact with psychiatric drugs.
Emotional abuse is common in long-term care facilities. Residents may be yelled at, mocked, called names, humiliated in front of others, and prevented from speaking with family members or spending time with fellow residents.
Seniors in nursing homes are particularly susceptible to financial abuse. Many have accumulated large sums of money by spending decades saving and investing. People in nursing homes may be mentally incapacitated and unable to manage their own affairs. They may feel confused and overwhelmed and may welcome offers of assistance from others.
Vulnerable adults may willingly hand over bank account information, checkbooks, and credit cards. An abuser may also steal items that belong to a person living in a nursing home and sell them.
Sexual abuse is more of a problem in nursing homes than many people realize. Patients may be unable to defend themselves because of old age, medical problems, fatigue, or other side effects from the medications they take. They may also have difficulty communicating or may not report abuse for fear of retaliation.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving Oklahoma City, call (800) 712-9119
How Nursing Home Abuse Occurs
Understaffing is one of the greatest contributors to nursing home abuse. Working in a long-term care facility is demanding, and the pay is generally low. That makes it difficult for nursing homes to attract and retain qualified employees. That can increase the risk of abuse in two ways.
First, facilities may cut corners in the hiring process to maintain an adequate number of workers. Managers may fail to conduct thorough background checks and may hire people who have a history of abusing residents at other facilities. They may get fired from one facility and move to another to seek out new victims.
Facility managers may also provide inadequate training for new staff members on how to detect signs of possible abuse and what to do if they have reason to suspect that a resident was abused.
Second, employees who are feeling overwhelmed by the demands of their work may not notice signs of abuse, such as bruises, cuts, and changes in behavior. Staff members who do see those signs may accept a coworker’s explanation about a fall or a decline in health because people who live in nursing homes have a wide range of serious medical issues.
If an employee is gone for a period of time, coworkers may assume that the person is busy caring for residents. Abuse can go undetected, sometimes for months or years.
In some cases, employees and administrators actively cover up abuse and allow it to continue. Workers may manufacture alibis to protect each other. Managers may refuse to investigate allegations of abuse or may conduct investigations that are not meant to uncover the truth and address the problem. Employees at nursing homes may even punish residents who come forward to get them to retract their claims and to intimidate other victims of abuse into silence.
Oklahoma City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 712-9119
How an Oklahoma City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help Your Family
Ben Crump Law, PLLC helps families across the United States seek justice for their loved ones who were abused in long-term care facilities. We can interview you, your relative (if possible), and others who may be able to provide useful information, such as fellow residents and staff members.
If we uncover evidence that your family member was abused, we may file a personal injury lawsuit. We may be able to pursue a financial award to compensate your loved one for losses related to physical or emotional injuries, sexual abuse, or financial exploitation, depending on the circumstances.
Hire an Oklahoma City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
You do not have much time to act. According to 12 OK Stat §12-95, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years. If your family member is in poor health, that may also create challenges. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 712-9119 so our team can begin working on your loved one’s case as soon as possible.