Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that trauma victims sometimes suffer. PTSD in nursing homes has become more prevalent as more trauma survivors reach the age of requiring long-term care. Symptoms of PTSD, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:
- Flashbacks to the traumatic event
- Aggressive or self-destructive behavior
- Suicidal thoughts
According to a study published in the journal Clinical Gerontologist, being in a long-term care setting like a nursing home—losing your autonomy, living with many people, and feeling a lesser sense of dignity—can worsen PTSD symptoms. Nursing homes must have protocols in place to help residents with PTSD if they are having a panic attack or other episodes. It is incredibly important for nursing homes to do all they can to help residents with mental health conditions.
Causes of PTSD
PTSD results from a traumatic event in an individual’s life. These events can include:
- Being in a war.
- Being sexually assaulted.
- Being abused physically or emotionally.
- Being threatened or harmed with a weapon.
- Being in an accident.
If your loved one suffers from PTSD for any reason, and you have considered putting them in a nursing home, ensure that the facility has the capabilities to help your loved one in the event of an episode.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-712-9119
Getting PTSD in Nursing Homes
If you believe your loved one has PTSD following a traumatic event that happened in the nursing home, it might be due to abuse.
Elder abuse is common—and incredibly underreported—in nursing homes. Sometimes, staff abuse or neglect residents in nursing homes because a hiring shortage leads to being overworked. Other times, nursing homes fail to vet nursing home staff members thoroughly and inadvertently hire someone with a history of abusing people.
Relying on someone for your constant care creates a power dynamic between a nursing home resident and staff. When stress or other tensions provoke that dynamic, that relationship can become abusive. Some forms of nursing home abuse your loved one could experience that results in developing PTSD include:
- Physical abuse: Physically harming a resident, including hitting, pushing, restraining, and more.
- Sexual abuse: Sexually touching a resident without their consent or harassment of a sexual nature.
- Emotional abuse: Intimidating, yelling, or degrading a resident.
- Financial abuse: Stealing money or other assets from residents.
- Neglect: Failing to care for a resident, including withholding food and water.
If a staff member abuses your loved one in any way, and they now have PTSD in connection with the abuse, you might have the right to pursue the negligent party for compensation.
Recovering Compensation for Therapy and Other Costs
Generally, if someone negligently harms your loved one, and they suffered injuries and material losses as a result, they could be entitled to financial recovery for:
- Medical bills
- Therapy costs (past and future)
- Cost of relocating to another nursing home facility
- Cost of interim in-home care
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
While building a claim of abuse against a nursing home is stressful, hiring a nursing home abuse lawyer for help might benefit you. It can help you focus on helping your loved one recover.
An attorney can gather evidence of the abuse, including witness statements, the abuser’s past assaults, and more. They can also use that evidence to prove the liability of your loved one’s abuser and the nursing home, negotiate a settlement on behalf of your loved one, or, if needed, take your case to trial and argue for a judgment in your favor.
Contact Us Today
While you do not need a lawyer to pursue compensation for your loved one, it might help you to have one on your side. If your loved one developed PTSD in a nursing home, it might be because they suffered abuse while living at the facility.
You put your loved one in a nursing home under the assumption that they will have better care and a better quality of life there than in your care. If you suspect abuse, a nursing home abuse lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you investigate your loved one’s living conditions.
We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we never take any attorney’s fees upfront or out-of-pocket. We only take a fee if your case results in a settlement outside of court or a jury verdict in your favor.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at 800-959-1444 to reach a member of our team for your free, no-risk consultation. Your loved one deserves justice, but you do not have to go through this difficult time alone.