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 has been abused or mistreated in a long-term elder care facility. When nursing home abuse or neglect occurs, it betrays our trust in nursing homes to care for us at our weakest and most vulnerable. At the Toledo, Ohio, law firm of Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault, our nursing home abuse lawyers take nursing abuse and neglect cases seriously. We believe in holding accountable those who harm the elderly through their negligent or intentional acts, and we strive to ensure our senior citizens and their families receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Michael Bell shares the signs of neglect and possible abuse in nursing homes.
Skilled & Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
With the aging population in Ohio and Michigan, the need for nursing homes and long-term elder care facilities is increasing. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the current 35 million Americans aged 65 and older will nearly double by 2030.
However, the challenge arises when nursing homes struggle to meet the growing demand due to insufficient staff and resources. In an attempt to manage, they may compromise with inadequate staffing and poorly maintained facilities that can lead to neglect and abuse. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), an alarming rate of elder abuse is happening in our society. The NCOA estimates that each year, millions of 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 Injuries
When nursing homes fall short of providing proper care, it leads to injuries that include:
To prevent bedsores, it is important to keep bedridden patients clean and dry, and rotate their positions every two hours. Negligence in taking these precautionary measures by nursing home staff can cause serious injury to patients.
When patients who are bedridden or in wheelchairs are left in one position for long periods, it can result in poor circulation and breakdown of skin and tissue on various body parts, including the buttocks, lower back, hips, calves, heels, and undersides of the arms. If left untreated, bedsores can cause severe pain, tissue damage, and dangerous secondary conditions, such as infection. Negligent care that leads to contact with bodily fluids can increase the risk of infections, such as sepsis or gangrene, which may ultimately lead to amputation or wrongful death.
It is worth noting that the Ohio nursing home admission paperwork includes a mandatory binding arbitration clause. However, you are not obligated to agree to arbitration if you choose not to sign this document. It is advisable to have an attorney review the paperwork before making any decisions.
Falls and Fractures
Breaking a bone can have catastrophic consequences for the elderly, particularly if it is a hip fracture. This type of injury can result in permanent disability, decreased quality of life, and even death.
The process of repairing a broken hip involves major surgery, followed by a lengthy recovery period that may lead to life-threatening medical conditions like pneumonia and malnutrition. Additionally, long hospital stays can increase the risk of infection, depression, weight loss, and muscle weakness. In some cases, if the broken hip does not heal properly, another surgery may be necessary, further exposing the patient to additional risks.
Falls and fractured bones in nursing homes can be attributed to staff or facility negligence, including:
– Staff dropping a patient while attempting to lift them.
– Lack of supervision.
– Patients wandering off.
– Conditions that result in slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents.
Additionally, falls and/or broken bones can be caused by deliberate patient abuse or patient-patient violence.
Malnutrition and Dehydration
Malnutrition, which refers to both excessive and insufficient nutrient intake for basic health needs, can have immediate and long-term medical effects in nursing home residents. It not only causes physical consequences like hunger or, in severe cases, organ failure, but also contributes to emotional and mental health issues, leading to devastating effects on the elderly. Therefore, malnutrition impacts not only physical but also emotional and mental well-being.
The most common infections among nursing home residents include:
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Soft tissue infections
- Skin infections
A nursing home can easily become a breeding ground for infections due to the compromised health and immune systems of its residents. Additionally, infections can occur as a result of negligent sanitation practices and improper 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
Financial abuse of the elderly mostly occurs in home care settings, but it unfortunately can also happen in nursing homes. Read about all the types of Financial Abuse of the Elderly here.
Our Success at Protecting Victims of Nursing Home Abuse
Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault, the Toledo nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers, have tirelessly worked to protect the elderly and secure compensation for senior citizens and their families. With over 65 years of experience, our firm has obtained tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Our dedicated nursing home abuse lawyers handle cases involving various incidents:
– A disabled elderly resident fell from bed due to being left unattended, resulting in brain injury and death.
– An unanswered call light led to a nursing home resident suffering a fall and severe ankle fracture.
– Negligence towards an elderly man with MS left him sitting for hours, causing severely infected bedsores and malnutrition.
– An Alzheimer’s patient was left unattended and unsecured in a wheelchair, which led to a severe hip fracture when she attempted to stand.
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
We have been representing injured nursing home patients and their families for over 65 years under the Ohio Patients’ Bill of Rights. It is crucial to understand that it can be extremely distressing when a loved one experiences a nursing home injury. We strive to ensure competent and respectful treatment and care for all patients.
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.