Nursing Home Abuse – It Shouldn’t Happen to Anyone
It’s a fear that many people have – being neglected in a nursing home or discovering that an elderly loved one in a long-term elder care facility has been abused or mistreated. When nursing home abuse or neglect occurs, it betrays the trust we’ve put in nursing homes to take care of us when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable. A nursing home abuse lawyer at the Toledo, Ohio law firm of Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault take cases of nursing abuse and neglect seriously. We believe that those who harm the elderly through their negligent or intentional acts should be held accountable and that our senior citizens and their families deserve compensation for their injuries.
Michael Bell shares the signs of neglect and possible abuse in nursing homes.
Skilled & Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
As our Ohio and Michigan population ages, more of us will need to either live at a nursing home or place a loved one in a long-term elder care facility. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are currently 35 million Americans age 65 and older, and that number will nearly double by 2030.
The problem arises when nursing homes lack the staff or resources to handle the rising demand for their services. They may try to cut corners with inadequate staffing and poorly maintained facilities, creating conditions that lead to neglect and abuse. The National Research Council estimates that each year as many as million Americans above the age of 65 are injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone they depend on for care and protection, such as nursing home workers.
Nursing Home Injures
When nursing homes fall short of providing proper care, it leads to injuries that include:
To prevent bedsores, bedridden patients should be kept clean and dry, and be rotated every two hours. When nursing home staff fails to take these precautionary measures, their negligence can cause serious injury to patients.
Patients who are bedridden or in wheelchairs should not be left in one position for long periods. Constant pressure on parts of the body causes poor circulation in those areas. This lack of circulation can lead to a breakdown of skin and tissue on the buttocks, lower back, hips, calves, heels and undersides of the arms. If they are not treated, bedsores can cause severe pain, tissue damage and dangerous secondary conditions such as infection, especially if negligent care leads to contact with bodily fluids. Infections can cause sepsis or gangrene, which may result in amputation or wrongful death.
The admission paperwork for Ohio nursing homes includes a clause for mandatory binding arbitration. However, you do not have to agree to arbitration if you do not sign this document. You may wish to have an attorney review this paperwork before you sign it.
Falls and Fractures
For the elderly, breaking a bone can have catastrophic results. It may result in permanent disability in older patients, especially if they break a hip. A broken hip can cause a decreased quality of life, dangerous secondary medical conditions and in the worst cases, death.
Repairing a broken hip involves major surgery and rehabilitation. The recovery period is lengthy and can lead to life-threatening medical conditions such as pneumonia and malnutrition. Long hospital stays can also cause infection, depression, weight loss and muscle weakness. If the broken hip does not heal properly, the patient may require an additional surgery, exposing him or her to more risk.
In nursing homes, falls and fractured bones can be caused by staff or facility negligence such as:
- Staff dropping a patient while trying to lift him or her;
- Lack of supervision;
- Under staffing;
- A patient wandering off; and
- Conditions leading to slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents.
Instances of deliberate patient abuse or patient-patient violence may also cause falls and/or broken bones.
Malnutrition and Dehydration
Malnutrition is defined as getting too much or too little nutrients for basic levels of health. Malnutrition can cause immediate and long-term medical effects in nursing home residents. And malnutrition cannot just cause physical effects such as hunger or in severe cases organ shutdowns, it also can cause emotional and mental health issues in nursing home residents can have immediate and long-term devastating effects on elderly people. Not only does malnutrition affect physical health, but it can affect emotional and mental health as well.
The most common infections among nursing home residents include:
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Soft tissue infections
- Skin infections
Infections can spread easily through a nursing home due to compromised health and immune systems of residents. It also can happen due to negligent sanitation and handling of food and bedding.
In the worst cases, nursing homes may fail to adequately screen workers before hiring them. Employees with criminal records or histories of abuse and neglect may expose elderly residents to emotional, physical or financial abuse.
Financial Abuse of the Elderly
Unfortunately, financial abuse of the elderly mostly happens in home care settings but unfortunately can occur in nursing home. Read about all the types of Financial Abuse of the Elderly here.
Our Success at Protecting Victims of Nursing Home Abuse
The Toledo nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers of Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault have worked tirelessly to protect the elderly and secure compensation for our senior citizens and their families through personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Since our firm was founded more than 60 years ago, our nursing home abuse lawyers have secured tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, including cases involving:
- A disabled elderly resident who was left unattended and fell from bed, suffering brain injury and death;
- A nursing home resident whose call light went unanswered, resulting in a fall and severe ankle fracture;
- An elderly man with MS who was left sitting for hours on end, resulting in severely infected bedsores and malnutrition;
- An Alzheimer’s patient who was left unattended and unsecured in a wheelchair. When she attempted to get out of the chair, she fell and suffered a severe hip fracture.
Our attorneys and staff can evaluate the facts of your case and determine how we can help you.
Contact our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Today
Under the Ohio Patients’ Bill of Rights, nursing home patients have the right to competent, respectful treatment and care. For more than 60 years we have represented injured nursing home patients and their families. We understand that it is very upsetting when a loved one suffers a nursing home injury.
As personal injury attorneys, we have dedicated our careers to protecting the rights of individuals from negligent corporations and insurance companies. You can rely on us to relentlessly pursue the compensation you are entitled to receive. Please call us at 419-843-6663 or use our online form to request a free consultation with a nursing home neglect lawyer. We represent injury victims in Ohio and southeast Michigan.