Nearly 2 million elderly Americans live in nursing homes, and the industry has grown into a booming business run by major corporations. Unfortunately, these companies often put profits above providing quality, compassionate care for residents. When this happens, the residents, who are some of our society’s most vulnerable members, are too often forced to endure abuse and neglect.
In recent years, the topic of nursing home abuse has become a national concern. For many families, the decision to place a loved one in the care of a facility is a difficult one. To discover that your loved one was mistreated in any way can be devastating for the entire family.
If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect at a facility in Florence or surrounding areas of Alabama, contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer right away. Nursing home abuse should be stopped immediately, and it should have consequences for those responsible.
The Florence nursing home abuse lawyers of Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are here to listen to your family’s story, help put a stop to the cycle of abuse, and seek justice and compensation on your behalf.
Contact us by phone or online now for a free and confidential consultation about your legal rights.
Types of Nursing Home Negligence in Florence
Nursing home abuse can take many forms and can happen to any nursing home resident anywhere. Abuse can come at the hands of a staff member at the facility or may be perpetrated by one of the residents. The abuse is often in plain sight and it is not uncommon for family members, friends, and others to miss the signs.
Some of the most commonly reported types of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual assault or abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
Within these broad categories, nursing home residents may be forced to endure specific mistreatment that family members should watch out for, including:
- Improper handling of medication
- Medical Errors or Negligence
- Forced or unnecessary sedation (chemical restraint)
- Improper restraint
- Fractures or Falls
Federal regulations exist to protect residents of nursing homes from sexual, physical, or verbal abuse. There are also protections against involuntary seclusion and corporal punishment. Unfortunately, the rights of our loved ones may not be respected when a facility’s owners, managers, and staff fail to follow the rules and regulations and make sure that every resident is treated with dignity and respect.
Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect in Florence Nursing Homes
Because nursing home abuse and neglect can come in so many forms and can vary in severity and frequency, it can often go undetected by family, friends, and medical professionals. The victim of abuse may be afraid or unable to tell others what they are experiencing, which makes it difficult to put a stop to this unacceptable treatment.
When visiting your loved one in the facility, be sure to watch closely for signs of neglect or abuse. Some telltale signs include:
- Bruises or sores
- Infections or sepsis
- Unexplained or sudden weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Unusual behavior, such as being withdrawn or acting nervous or frightened
You should also examine the actions of the facility staff. If caregivers refuse to allow you to spend time alone with your loved one, this might be a warning sign of mistreatment or a cover-up of abuse or neglect.
What to Do If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect in Florence Nursing Homes
If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated in an eldercare facility, do not hesitate to take swift action. Remember, if you can put a stop to this abuse on behalf of your family member, you are likely saving others from similar treatment as well.
Steps to take if you suspect abuse:
- The first thing you should do is make sure that your loved one is not in immediate danger. If they are, call 911 immediately or remove them from the facility if you feel that it is prudent.
- If your loved one is not in immediate danger, make sure to still address your concerns with your loved one directly. Keep in mind that many victims of abuse will not be comfortable admitting it out of fear, embarrassment, or other reasons. Try to find out what is happening and trust your instincts if you feel that you are not getting the full story.
- Address the issue with nursing home administrators. Every facility should have procedures for handling concerns about the safety and wellbeing of residents. Make sure to alert the management of the suspected abuse or neglect.
- If the facility’s response is not satisfactory, you can contact state agencies for help. Alabama’s Department of Human Resources has an Adult Protective Services division, and you can report abuse, exploitation, and neglect through their hotline by calling 1-800-458-7214.
- You should contact an experienced attorney to help you take action. A nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to help identify the signs and patterns of mistreatment and can investigate the allegations to determine if a claim needs to be filed against the facility.
Nursing Home Negligence Claims in Florence, Alabama
A nursing home negligence lawsuit can accomplish a few critical things. For one, it can help recover just compensation for the victim and their family. Through a lawsuit, your attorney could help recover assets that were lost, payment for medical treatment, and get additional compensation for physical and emotional pain that the abuse or neglect caused, among compensation for other losses.
A lawsuit can also help get a measure of justice for the victim. Nursing home abuse should not happen, and there should be harsh consequences when it does. Not only will a successful lawsuit send a message that abuse will not be tolerated, it could signal to other facilities that a failure to act or protect their residents could be costly.
How Can a Florence Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., Help Me?
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Florence or the surrounding areas of Alabama, turn to a legal team that has been protecting the elderly in our community since 1966. The Florence personal injury lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are prepared take decisive action to help you put an end to the abuse or neglect.
Our consultations are always free and we’re available 24/7. Call us or reach out to us online now for a confidential claim review and free advice about your legal options.