No matter how helpless or independent someone is, no one deserves to be treated with less care than they would treat themselves if they could. Abuse and neglect in nursing homes and assisted living facilities has become a saddening reality in our communities in recent years. The thought of our loved ones being subject to care than could hurt rather than help them is enough to motivate action to protect them and others against nursing home abuse.
Statistics have estimated that one out of every three nursing homes in the country has been cited for nursing home abuse. Every year, approximately 5,000 death certificates issued out of a nursing home cite dehydration, malnutrition, starvation or bed sores as a cause of death. The fact that nursing home patients are towards the end of their lives is not a justification for withholding the best possible treatment available to them. Injuries in nursing homes because of neglect and abuse should be punished with the utmost determination to repay victims and their families for the undue pain placed on them.
Seldom does a family ever consider nursing home abuse a possibility for their loved one. Unfortunately for many Americans, it is a very real nightmare. In the event that a loved one suffers abuse or neglect in their long-term care facility, the family of that individual has the right to take legal action against the responsible parties. Nurses, doctors and even the facility itself can be held accountable for misconduct or negligence that takes place in the nursing home. For more information on pursuing a legal claim against a facility for the neglect or abuse of a loved one, consult a personal injury attorney from San Fernando Valley.
Nursing home abuse is a broad term that can be used to refer to many types of mistreatment at a facility that proves a place of residence and health care services for the elderly. This mistreatment can take many different forms. Physical abuse is considered as any intentional use of force against an elderly patient in order to cause him or her pain. This physical abuse would resemble any other type of physical abuse but can also include the withholding of sustenance or intentionally making the living environment uncomfortable such as the manipulation of climate control.
Sexual abuse has been thought to be the cause of three percent of nursing home citations. This involves any form of unwanted or nonconsensual sexual contact. While physical acts are the most well-known type of sexual abuse, forcing an elderly person to look at pornographic material or watch sexual acts is also a form of sexual abuse. Emotional abuse and verbal abuse of elderly patients can be as damaging as any other type of abuse. The use of words, humiliation, embarrassment and isolation can all cause emotional pain or distress in the person and is considered nursing home abuse if it is done by an employee of the facility.
Another form of nursing home abuse is that of neglect or negligence concerning the actual treatment given to the elderly patient. This failure to provide proper care can lead to malnutrition, lack of hygiene and dehydration. The lack of care altogether has led, in many cases, to untreated conditions and bedsores. In nursing homes where medical care is also offered, medical malpractice is also a very real possibility. Because the patients in nursing homes are completely at the hands of their caretakers as to their quality of life, the slightest drift away from quality care can cause serious injuries to the patient.
In events of nursing home abuse, it is important both to report the facility to the authorities and to demand recompense for the wrong done against the patient. Whether the action is being taken by the actual patient or by their family members, legal measures are available in order to file claims against the facility for causing undue harm through abuse and negligence. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in San Fernando Valley to assist in that endeavor can significantly increase the chance of obtaining maximum recovery. If you or your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, contact The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus to learn how we would like to help you find redress.