Columbia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Holding Negligent Caregivers Accountable
No one knows how big the problem of nursing home abuse is, but between lax facility policies and homes that simply don’t have enough staff to care for their patients, hundreds or even thousands of patients may be harmed each year. Unfortunately, until the nursing home industry is made to undergo significant changes, the only way to fight back against abuse and negligence is one case at a time. That’s what we do at DiPasquale Moore.
Learning your loved one has been neglected or even abused at the hands of the facility and caregivers you entrusted them to is a horrifying experience. Of course, you want to do everything possible to get your loved one into a safe situation as soon as you can. However, you may also want answers and accountability. Our team can help you demand them. By filing a nursing home abuse case, you can recover compensation for the way your loved one was treated and shine a light on the conditions that made this situation possible. Doing this is often the best way to encourage change in a for-profit industry largely run by national chains.
If you are ready to file a nursing home abuse case, call DiPasquale Moore now at (573) 312-3188. Our Columbia lawyers offer free consultations.
What Does Nursing Home Abuse Look Like?
Caregivers and other patients alike can be responsible for mistreating nursing home residents. Good facilities have policies in place to protect patients from ending up in dangerous situations and to put a prompt stop to any signs of impending abuse or mistreatment. Other facilities routinely leave vulnerable elders with exploitative caregivers or in other situations where they are unable to defend themselves.
Nursing home abuse can take multiple forms:
- Emotional or verbal abuse, which may come in the form of caregivers yelling or calling their patients names
- Financial abuse, where an abuser tricks an elder into giving them money or assets
- Medical abuse like over-medication or use of restraints on a patient
- Neglect, which can result in patients going unfed or developing pressure ulcers, among others
- Physical abuse, such as hitting, slapping, or spitting on patients
- Sexual abuse, or any sexual activity that happens without the full consent of both parties
Some types of abuse leave physical scars, while others wear down a patient emotionally. All types of mistreatment, however, can have a negative effect on a nursing home resident’s health. Especially when targeting those who are already old and ailing, abusers can seriously harm their victims in irreparable ways.
Spotting Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
One of the worst parts of nursing home abuse is the power imbalance that makes it difficult for victims to tell their families what is happening. When patients rely on a caregiver for food, medication, assistance using the bathroom, and access to a larger community, they will implicitly know how dangerous it might be to anger that person. Caregivers may threaten to retaliate against patients if they talk about the abuse, but they do not have to say anything for the threat to be present.
Therefore, it’s important for family members to look for signs of abuse when visiting and interacting with loved ones. Because individuals have unique reactions to abuse, there is no one symptom that can bring what is happening to light. Instead, spotting abuse is like putting together a puzzle; while an individual change might not be worrisome, when seen in conjunction with others, it can paint a troubling picture.
Some common symptoms of nursing home abuse are:
- Major changes in behavior
- Mood swings or irritability
- Withdrawal from social activities or hobbies
- Unexplained injuries
- Fear of being touched or being around certain people or types of people
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Poor personal hygiene
- Sudden loss of mobility
- Large, unexpected financial moves or changes
If you suspect your loved one is suffering abuse, you should get help by calling the Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline or speaking to a nursing home Ombudsman. Our team is here to provide advice and direct you toward further resources if need be.
Protecting Columbia’s Elderly
There is no excuse for any type of abuse, but preying on the elderly and disabled is especially despicable. Our team wants to help you hold the individuals who do so—and the facilities that shield them—accountable. A caregiver who is willing to abuse your loved one is likely hurting others at the same time or will target others in the future. Starting a personal injury claim can not only help your loved one find justice but also keep other residents safe.
Before you start your nursing home abuse claim, you should make sure the firm you are working with is equipped to handle it. These claims often require intensive investigation and tend to be heavily contested. Your lawyers must have the resources to sustain a case and the skill to fight well-funded corporate attorneys. At DiPasquale Moore, we are capable of handling these claims, even when they go all the way to trial. Our ability to fight until the end of your claim, no matter what, is essential to seeing justice done.
Call us today at (573) 312-3188 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Columbia attorneys. We can help you determine whether you may be able to file a nursing home abuse case.