Nursing Home Negligence
Group homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities are designed to provide care for those who are unable to perform the daily tasks necessary for independent living. When a facility fails to meet the standards of care, neglect and abuse can result. Diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s that affect a senior’s memory, as well as increased social isolation from their families, make reporting instances of neglect or abuse difficult, leaving residents even more vulnerable to neglect.
One in ten Americans over the age of 60 have been subjected to some type of elder abuse, according to the National Council on Aging. If you suspect that your loved one has suffered mistreatment in a nursing home or care facility, you may be able to take legal action against those responsible.
At the Law Office of Reuven Epstein, we advocate for our clients in nursing home abuse and elder care neglect cases in and around Rockland County.
Nursing home abuse and neglect practice areas:
- Falls in nursing homes
- Bedsores, pressure sores, ulcers, and infections
- Malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes
- Dangerous roommates and unsafe facilities
- Physical, mental, and emotional abuse
- Transportation and restraint injuries
- Group home facilities and assisted living centers
Know the Signs to Safeguard Your Vulnerable Loved One
Nursing home neglect is defined as the refusal or failure of a staff member or facility to fulfill their obligations to care for an elderly resident, including failure to give residents regular baths or oral care, failure to provide prescribed wound care for bedsores, failure to provide adequate food or hydration, and failure to provide a clean facility free of environmental hazards.
Nursing home abuse covers any intentionally inflicted injuries, intimidation, and punishments that cause physical or mental suffering. Seniors are also especially prone to financial abuse.
The physical warning signs of abuse and/or neglect include infected bedsores or pressure ulcers (which suggest the senior is not receiving adequate attention and is being left alone), medication errors or overdoses, malnutrition and dehydration, unsanitary conditions, and unexplained injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, bruises, burns, and cuts. Emotional warning signs include agitation, sudden withdrawal, fear, frequent crying, and complaints of poor treatment.
In the worst cases, untimely or unexplained death may be a sign of abuse or neglect that went unnoticed for too long. Unfortunately, instances of mistreatment have been known to significantly increase a senior’s likelihood of dying within the following three years.
If you see any warning signs in your loved one, it’s critical to speak with a knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible to discuss the steps you can take to protect your vulnerable senior or file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Path Forward
With the help of your dedicated elder abuse lawyer, you may be able to prove that your family member has been a victim of neglect or abuse, which would make you eligible to recover financial compensation for medical expenses as well as damages for your loved one’s mental pain and emotional distress. Perhaps the most important reason to work with a lawyer to handle your case is to prevent future victims from suffering the same mistreatment.
Giving a voice to those who find it difficult to speak for themselves
Whether your loved one is suffering physical or mental abuse or neglect due to improper training or inadequate staffing or supervision, individuals need not suffer in silence. We represent clients injured, abused, or neglected in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and group homes throughout Rockland County and the Bronx, NY.
At the Law Office of Reuven Epstein, we provide effective legal representation for clients who have been abused or neglected, including physical or mental abuse from staff or dangerous roommates, and injuries that result from inadequate supervision, such as falls in a nursing home, transportation, and restraint injuries. If your loved one is showing signs of neglect, such as dehydration and malnutrition, or has bed sores, we can provide representation from a bed sores lawyer for pressure sores, infections or ulcers, and other nursing home neglect situations.
If you are seeking a nursing home law attorney in Rockland County and the Bronx, NY, due to concerns about the care of a loved one who is residing in a nursing home or group home, we can evaluate the situation and advise you about the best course of action at no cost.
Please contact our office by telephone at (845) 208-2444 for a free, no-obligation case consultation with a nursing home law attorney Reuven Epstein.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
When you entrust your loved one to the care of a nursing home or a similar facility, you expect that they will be given basic levels of care and attentiveness, and will be treated with basic levels of kindness, compassion, and dignity. While many nursing homes do provide these levels of care and respect to their patients and residents, many others do not. The population in long-term care facilities is swiftly rising: as of 2021, there are nearly two million Americans living full-time in these facilities. As the number of residents rises, so do reports of abuse and neglect.
Preventing elder abuse and elder neglect in long-term care facilities has become one of the most pressing issues for older Americans and their family members. However, in order to prevent or act against elder abuse and elder neglect in nursing homes, we must first know how to identify it.
What is the difference between nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect?
Nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect are generally intertwined in long-term care contexts, as acts of abuse can be neglectful, and vice versa.
In a nursing home or long-term care context, elder neglect is a failure (intentional or not) to provide an elder person with the care to prevent them from being harmed or experiencing unnecessary pain, suffering, anxiety, or risk of danger. Elder abuse is the intentional infliction of injury, intimidation, or unreasonable confinement, and/or the deprivation of care or services, which results in physical harm, pain, and emotional/mental anguish.
Nursing home neglect and abuse can include a wide range of actions, including:
- Physical assault and battery
- Threats, harsh insults, and emotional abuse
- Theft and financial abuse
- Rape or other forms of sexual assault
- Unreasonable physical restraint, seclusion, or prolonged isolation
- Unreasonable use of a chemical restraint or psychotropic medication not consistent with physician authorization
- Total lack or insufficient care for existing medical problems
- Negligent denial of medical services or attention
- Deprivation of food, water, or medications
- Abuse between residents that is not addressed by staff
The signs of elder abuse and neglect in a long-term care facility can look different in different contexts. Victims may react differently depending on their cultural background, their personality, their state of awareness, and their ability to communicate. There are, however, several common signs. These include:
- Bed injuries or signs of asphyxiation
- Pressure ulcers (bed sores)
- Dehydration (especially chronic dehydration)
- Malnutrition (especially chronic malnutrition)
- Rapid weight loss without medical explanation
- Falls, fractures, or head injuries
- Unexplained bruising, cuts, welts, and wounds in various stages of healing
- Uncharacteristic emotional upset or agitation (not attributable to context)
- Uncharacteristic withdrawal and lack of communication (not attributable to context)
- Unusual and/or sudden changes of behavior without medical explanation (especially fear of being touched, aggressive behaviors like biting, and self-soothing behaviors like sucking and rocking)
- Frequent infections without medical explanation
- Unsanitary, unkempt, or unclean conditions
- Regular heavy sedation without medical sign-off
- Inter-resident violence (or credible reports of inter-resident violence) without immediate response from staff
- Reluctance or refusal to speak in the presence of staff
- Injuries requiring emergency treatment or hospitalization (especially without promptly informing the family and/or physician)
- Frequent illnesses not promptly reported to the family and/or physician
- Any unexplained or unexpected death
It should be noted that many elder people suffer from various physical and mental illnesses as they age that may occur or progress even in the face of stellar care from nursing home staff. However, elder abuse and neglect is a real issue, and knowing to look for the signs is essential if it is going to be addressed and potentially investigated.
Do you have a loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facility? Do you believe your loved one may be suffering from elder abuse or elder neglect in that facility? Are you in Nanuet, New York? Attorney Reuven Epstein is here to help. Attorney Epstein has extensive experience in elder law, and feels strongly that every older American deserves a high level of compassionate, competent care. Call (845) 208-2444 for a free initial consultation on your case today.