When our elderly loved ones need care we can’t provide, it’s time to look into care facilities like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and independent living facilities. Once we think we’ve chosen the right location, we expect the home to take care of our family members as we would. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. If your loved one has wrongfully suffered, an Owensboro, KY nursing home abuse lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help.
Nursing Homes in Owensboro
According to Medicare’s Care Compare, the following seven nursing homes are located within Owensboro city limits:
- Owensboro Center
- Hermitage Care and Rehabilitation Center
- Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
- Carmel Home
- Wellington Parc of Owensboro
- The Transitional Care Center of Owensboro
- Signature Healthcare at Hillcrest
While most of those facilities have above average or much above average ratings, Owensboro Center and Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center have much below-average ratings. Overall ratings are based on a nursing home’s performance of three sources: health inspections, staffing, and quality of resident care measures.
Owensboro Center has been rated much below average for health inspections, below average for staffing, and average for quality of resident care. As a result, they were penalized in March 2019 and fined once by the federal government for $608,228. Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation has been rated much below average for health inspection, average for staffing, and above average for quality of resident care. Four federal penalties from 2018 and 2019 resulted in $227,455 in fines.
Even if your loved one lives in a nursing home with a below-average rating, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be subject to abuse. However, it is vital to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities—regardless of their rating.
Recognizing Abuse and Neglect in Long-Term Care Facilities
Transitioning into an elder care home isn’t always easy, but your loved one should receive the care they need to live as high quality a life as possible. When that doesn’t happen, injuries and suffering are possible. The types of abuse range from physical, sexual, and emotional to neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation. It can be hard to identify signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, so you’ll want to know what to look for.
- Familiarize yourself with your loved one’s medications. If they seem confused, disoriented, drowsy, or unable to stay awake, it could be due to medication overdose or unmonitored side effects.
- If your loved one has suddenly become immobile or has difficulty getting around, it could be due to lack of assistance with daily walking and regular exercise programs.
- Your loved one should have access to clean clothes and personal hygiene products. If you notice body odor, dirty clothes, unwashed hair, or overgrown nails, it’s likely due to lack of basic personal care, bathing, and toileting.
- Unexplained broken bones, dislocations, bruises, and scratches may be a sign of rough handling during transfers, repositioning, force-feeding, or medication administration.
- Bedsores, open wounds, and frequent urinary tract infections develop when a resident is confined to a bed or withheld medical attention.
- If you notice sudden weight loss, dry mouth, cracked lips, swollen tongue, reduce urine output, or general weakness, your loved one may not be getting adequate food or fluids.
- Inadequate supervision and incompetent assistance can result in unexplained falls or accidents.
- Be aware of your loved one’s mental state. If they suddenly appear withdrawn, anxious, fearful, guilty, or embarrassed, they may be suffering from emotional abuse.
These are not the only signs of abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities, but they are some of the most common. If you think your loved one is suffering, it’s essential to know what steps to take to protect them.
Protecting Your Loved One From Nursing Home Negligence
Kentucky law, KRS Chapter 209, protects nursing home residents from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. When abuse is suspected, it should be reported to Adult Protective Services. You also have the option of submitting a complaint to the Office of the Inspector General or the Office of the Attorney General.
When you submit a potential abuse report, it will be investigated. The more information you provide in your report, the smoother the investigation will go. Try to have the name of the victim and your relationship to them, their age, the name and address of the facility, the date and time and the incident, a description of what happened, the nature of the abuse, the name of the alleged perpetrator, and the names of any witnesses.
Sometimes, the actions that the state takes are not enough. That’s why you have the ability to seek counsel from an Owensboro nursing home negligence attorney to learn about filing a personal injury claim.
Seek Legal Representation from Thomas Law Offices
Even when we take all the right actions to keep our loved ones safe, we can’t be with them all the time. It’s those times when we can’t be there that they are more likely to suffer at the hands of a negligent nursing home staff member.
If you believe your loved one has been abused or they’ve directly told you about the neglect they’ve experienced, an Owensboro, KY nursing home abuse lawyer can help. Thomas Law Offices is dedicated to helping seniors and their families recover from instances of abuse and neglect. We’re prepared to take your case on next. Contact us for more information.