When your loved one gets older, you may find they need professional help to maintain their health and quality of life. A nursing home can provide what they need: a safe environment and a caring staff who will attend to their medical needs. However, your loved one’s nursing home in Ohio may not be providing them with the care they deserve. If your loved one is being abused or neglected, you can seek justice for them. A Dayton nursing home abuse lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you.
The lawyers at Thomas Law Offices know how terrifying it can be to learn your loved one has not been getting the care they deserve. When they’re in an unsafe environment, their health, wellbeing, and their lives can be put at risk. Once you get your loved one in a safe place, we can start to fight for their rights.
Before learning more about how our firm can help you, let’s go over the different types of abuse and neglect that can happen in a nursing home.
Noticing the Types of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
There are different forms of abuse and neglect that can occur in a nursing home. Abuse typically refers to willful acts that harm your loved one while neglect is when the home isn’t able to provide the care your loved one needs.
Types of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical. This kind of abuse can include shoving, grabbing, kicking, or otherwise handling your loved one too roughly. If you suspect physical abuse is occurring, you may notice injuries like cuts or bruises, or even more serious injuries like broken bones. While an occasional bruise may occur, consistent injuries are not normal.
- Emotional. As a senior resident in a nursing home, your loved one should be treated with respect and dignity. If staff are swearing at your loved one, putting them down, or act like they don’t exist, it can severely affect your loved one’s mental wellbeing. They may start to act more withdrawn.
- Financial. Some staff may take advantage of your loved one’s finances. Forging checks, changing ownership of deeds or other accounts, or other ways of stealing money may occur. Your loved one may not realize this is happening. Sudden withdrawals from bank accounts could indicate someone is stealing from your loved one.
- Sexual. Sexual abuse can occur if an abusive staff member commits sexual assault, forces your loved one to look at inappropriate photographs, or forced nudity. If your loved one has injuries around their pelvic area, develop an STD, or seem fearful or withdrawn, it may indicate that sexual abuse is occurring.
- Resident-on-Resident. Unfortunately, your loved one may face abuse from another resident. While staff didn’t commit the abuse, they are responsible for handling the issue so your loved one is protected.
Those who live in a nursing home may be there because they have memory-related health issues. These issues can make it difficult for your loved one to speak up for themselves. They may not always be in a lucid state and could have trouble remembering details. Their ability to communicate can also be inhibited as well.
Even if your loved one doesn’t have memory-related health complications, they may not want to speak up for other reasons. They could be scared of further retaliation or they could be ashamed to reveal what’s been happening. That’s why it’s so important to look for the signs of abuse listed above.
There are other ways your loved one could be hurt in their nursing home through neglect. Many nursing homes do not have the staff required to attend to the needs of their residents. Because of this, residents may not receive the daily care they need.
Neglect can appear in different ways. Look out for the following:
- Medication Errors. When your loved one needs medication, staff should be able to give them the correct dose at the appropriate time. If there aren’t enough staff to care for the residents, your loved one may not get their medication, or they could receive an improper dose. These medication errors can have dangerous effects on your loved one’s health. They could suffer from an overdose or suffer symptoms of their ailment if they don’t get their medication.
- Bed Sores. Some residents could use a wheelchair or are in their bed for long periods of time. This can put pressure on certain parts of the body. Sustained pressure can result in bed sores. Staff should regularly adjust your loved one’s position and use cushions to avoid these injuries. Deep bed sores can get infected and possibly require surgery.
- Fall Injuries. If some residents are prone to wandering and are a fall risk, the nursing home should take measures to know where they are and have people to assist them with walking. A neglectful nursing home may not help them in time and the resident could decide to try to walk by themselves. If they fall, they can sustain serious injuries to their head, spine, hips, and more.
- Lack of Personal Hygiene. Your loved one may need assistance with bathing, dressing, and brushing hair and teeth. Neglectful staff members who don’t help your loved one with this could mean your loved one’s personal hygiene needs aren’t being met. If you visit and notice old, stained clothing or a foul odor, then they likely aren’t getting the care they need.
- Malnutrition/Dehydration. Seniors need to have a nutritious diet and stay hydrated to maintain their health and strength. If you notice a sudden weight drop in your loved one or they seem dehydrated, this could indicate they’re not getting the daily nutrition and liquids they need each day.
Another red flag in a nursing home is use of restraints. They can be physical or chemical and your loved one is protected from the use of them. Nursing homes may violate this law by using restraints to prevent your loved one’s movements as a form of control or punishment. Physical restraints can cause injuries or death if they’re not placed properly. There are some instances where physical restraints may be necessary in life-saving situations, and someone trained in placing restraints needs to secure them. Chemical restraints are using drugs to keep your loved one in a sedated state. You may notice your loved one seems less aware than usual.
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, you may feel like you don’t know what to do next. Ohio has a number of resources that can help you get your loved one to a safe environment and assess what was happening at the nursing home. After you’ve done that, then you can contact a Dayton nursing home abuse lawyer.
Protecting Seniors Who Have Been Abused or Neglected
When our lawyers are at your side, we’ll fight for your loved one to receive fair compensation for what they’ve been through. The abuse or neglect that happened may have caused health issues. If they needed medical care or will continue to need medical care so they can recover from their injuries, our lawyers will seek compensation that will cover those medical costs.
We’ll look into additional financial losses as well as the pain and suffering your loved one endured. They may have lived in fear or could have suffered neglect for a number of days, weeks, or months in their nursing home.
As we investigate your case, we’ll gather evidence of what your loved one went through. We may examine where your loved one lived and speak to eyewitnesses if possible. Our lawyers will also look over medical records. We’ll be able to see the detrimental effects of the abuse or neglect your loved one endured and what it will take for them to recover.
Our lawyers are gathering this evidence so we can prove the following points in your loved one’s case:
- The nursing home owed your loved one a duty of care.
- They failed to meet this duty of care through abuse or negligence.
- Your loved one suffered injuries and losses because of the abuse or negligence.
We’ll guide you through the legal process every step of the way. Our lawyers are ready to answer questions and explain the next step in getting your loved one the justice they deserve.
It can be intimidating to hold a nursing home accountable for their actions, but our lawyers are prepared to fight for your loved one’s rights no matter what.
Contact Thomas Law Offices Today
While our office is based in Cincinnati, our lawyers are ready to protect the rights of any Ohio citizen who has been a victim of abuse or neglect. We’re going to represent your loved one’s best interests so they get justice.
To start your legal journey, get in touch with Thomas Law Offices today. We’ll go over your case in an obligation-free consultation to discuss what happened to your loved one and review your options. You’ll have the information you need to decide how you want to move forward with confidence.