Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Placing a loved-one in a nursing home or long-term care facility is one of the most difficult decisions a family member can make. We entrust elder care facilities with our loved-ones with the hope they will treat those individuals with the care and dignity they deserve. Some senior care facilities however, put profits ahead of our loved-one’s health causing them great harm. If you or a loved-one has been harmed by the abuse or neglect of a nursing home or long-term care facility, Potts Law Firm has a team of elder law attorneys and medical professionals available to assist.
Nursing home abuse and neglect has become an American epidemic. The scope of the problem is not fully known because residents of such care facilities may suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia and may be unable to effectively communicate abuses to their family members. What is known is nearly 1/3 of all nursing homes experience some level of abuse and neglect and a mass majority have been found to have at least one deficiency upon inspection. With advancements in medicine and a large aging population, it is estimated that 3.2 million American adults currently reside in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. While a majority of those individuals receive quality care, many unfortunately suffer from abuse and neglect.
Nursing homes are regrettably businesses first and are often run by large corporations seeking to maximize profits. Long-term senior care facilities are attractive business opportunities because they are lucrative and can generate millions in revenue. While many facilities are managed properly, others put profits over patients by understaffing the number of nurses and nurse assistants. Furthermore, they may not use appropriate background checks to screen out individuals who have no business taking care of vulnerable long-term care residents. Overall, this business model creates an overworked, understaffed, and undertrained staff that cannot or will not meet the demands of residents who may desperately require around-the-clock care.
If you have any question that you or a loved-one has suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact our office at 888-902-6245. Some common types of nursing home negligence cases are the following with more details below:
Bed Sores or Decubitus Ulcers
Residents are often admitted to elder care or rehabilitation facilities due to an immobilizing event such as a hip fracture or may have other chronic long-term medical conditions that limits their mobility. These patients are at a higher risk of developing pressure sores which are also known as decubitus ulcers in the medical community. These pressure sores develop because of chronic weight being placed on one area without movement. So commonly, these will develop along areas of the buttocks, back of the thighs, or the heels. If a pressure sore develops, it’s commonly due to a lack of nursing staff to properly provide the correct type of pressure relief mattress or to provide regular repositioning which prevents chronic pressure to any one area of the body. These sores may also develop if a patient has bladder or stool incontinence and the nursing staff fails to regularly clean and keep these areas dry. Early stage pressure sores may not be serious, but if the nursing staff is not vigilant, these pressure sores can progress to very serious deep infections that can spread to the underlying bone and to the bloodstream which results in sepsis. These are very serious conditions that can result in death. In general, these pressure sores are completely preventable and if your loved-one has suffered complications from one, contact Potts Law Firm to speak to an experienced member of our Nursing Home and Medical Negligence Team.
Nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities are often understaffed and the same nurse or nurse assistant may be caring for several patients leading to the transmission of germs including a bacteria known as Clostridium difficile (C. diff). If your loved-one develops C. diff colitis, they may develop diarrhea and stool incontinence. If this infection goes unrecognized and is not treated quickly, it can progress and become severe enough to cause sepsis and shock resulting in severe injuries and even death. In general, these infections are preventable with good hand-washing techniques and cleanliness. If your loved one has suffered complications from colitis, contact Potts Law Firm to speak to an experienced member of our Nursing Home and Medical Negligence Team.
Long-term care facilities are intended to take care of elderly individuals who may have difficulty walking or performing normal daily activities like showering or toileting and may require nursing staff assistance. If your loved-one fell and sustained injuries because of a lack of staffing, contact Potts Law Firm to speak to an experienced member of our Nursing Home and Medical Negligence Team.
Malnutrition and Dehydration
One of the responsibilities of an elder care facility is to ensure their patients are properly fed and hydrated. In some cases, a patient may have suffered a stroke and lost the ability to swallow causing difficulty with eating or drinking. The facility cannot just ignore or abandon their nourishment and must provide alternative methods such as feeding tubes or parental nutrition through peripheral venous catheters. In other cases, a patient may have Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia causing them to forget to eat or limit eating. Again, the nursing care facility cannot abandon the resident’s needs and must provide other resources. If a resident’s nutrition is not properly cared for, this can result in severe malnutrition leading to infections and even death. If your loved-one suffered complications from malnutrition, contact Potts Law Firm to speak to an experienced member of our Nursing Home and Medical Negligence Team.
Residents of long-term care facilities often have complex medical histories which require the administration of multiple medications. Since understaffing is a severe problem in many nursing homes, residents may not receive the appropriate dosage of their prescribed medication or may in fact receive a completely different medication all-together. This could have catastrophic effects and lead to severe complications and even death. If your loved-one suffered complications from a medication error, contact Potts Law Firm to speak to an experienced member of our Nursing Home and Medical Negligence Team.
Physical or Sexual Abuse
Sadly, not all nursing homes perform adequate background checks on their employees. Since residents of long-term senior care facilities are often in a vulnerable position and may lack the ability to communicate, they are unfortunate targets for physical and sexual abuse. If your loved-one suffered physical or sexual abuse while in a nursing home, contact Potts Law Firm to speak to an experienced member of our Nursing Home and Medical Negligence Team.
Potts Law Firm houses multiple divisions of highly specialized and experienced elder care attorneys and professionals in health care law with specific a focus medical device litigation, pharmaceutical product litigation, and nursing home and medical negligence litigation. Our nursing home and medical negligence team has a proven track record of results and some of our accomplishments include the following:
- $12,100,000 verdict on behalf of a paralyzed minor in a medical malpractice case;
- $3,000,000 verdict on behalf of a nursing home resident who suffered pressure sores;
- $2,300,000 settlement during trial due to medical malpractice;
- $1,500,000 settlement on an obstetric medical malpractice case.
If you or a loved one are suffering from nursing home abuse, it’s imperative to take action now. At Potts Law Firm, your case will be investigated thoroughly. We will request the medical records on your behalf and our experienced medical team will analyze the records. In addition, a legal professional will be available to assist you with the entire process. For the health and safety, as well as piece of mind, contact Potts Law Firm for a free consultation at 888-902-6245.