Fayetteville, AR Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
When we entrust the physical and emotional well-being of our elderly loved ones to assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, we expect they will be diligently supervised with care, compassion, and respect. Sadly, this is not always the reality of the situation. If you have entrusted the care of an elderly loved one to a nursing home, and you now suspect he or she is being abused and/or neglected by facility personnel, is there any legal action you can take?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. If you suspect your loved one is being abused at their nursing home facility, you may be able to bring a lawsuit for nursing home negligence or abuse. Through a civil claim, you could hold the abuser and facility accountable for what your loved one endured. Our skilled Fayetteville, AR nursing home abuse attorney would guide you through this difficult process.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, has nearly 20 years of experience handling nursing home abuse litigation. Our mission is to provide our clients with thorough, aggressive, effective legal representation to ensure that justice is upheld. We will work diligently to win fair compensation for the suffering your loved ones have endured. Call our law offices at (479) 316-0438 to schedule a free consultation.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is more prevalent than anyone would like to consider. According to a recent study conducted by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, 30% of all nursing homes in the United States — more than 5,200 facilities — were involved in more than 9,000 incidents of abuse over a two-year period. According to the report, the abuse violations in a total of 1,601 cases were described as placing the residents “in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury.”
The already high rate of nursing home abuse is on the rise. The same report determined that the percentage of nursing home facilities cited for abuse violations has increased annually since 1996 — nearly 25 years.
Most alarmingly of all, the American Association for Justice reports that 90% of all nursing homes in the United States have “staffing levels too low to provide adequate care.” In other words, 9 out of 10 American nursing homes provide inadequate care.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Fayetteville
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and basic neglect. Regardless of how it manifests, nursing home abuse needs to be stopped the moment it is detected.
Unfortunately, such abuse is rarely reported to the appropriate authority. In fact, the American Association for Justice reports that only 1 in 14 incidents of abuse are reported to the authorities. Therefore, you need to be aware of the warning signs to make sure that your loved ones are kept healthy and safe.
Signs of Physical Abuse in Fayetteville Nursing Homes
Elder maltreatment is often difficult to distinguish from self-neglect. Your loved one may show signs of mistreatment because they failed to care for themselves. However, the physical abuse of nursing home residents is a growing problem. Loved ones need to be wary of indicators of elder abuse. In many cases, the abused victim fails to communicate the harm they are enduring.
There are some common signs of elder physical abuse. For example, if you see a pattern of hospitalization for similar injuries coupled with a delay in treatment, your loved one could be the victim of physical abuse. This is especially the case if there are inconsistencies or vague explanations regarding how an injury occurred. Another possible indicator of abuse is when your loved one receives treatment for their injuries at different medical facilities instead of the closest in proximity to the nursing home.
Below are some other symptoms and signs of physical abuse.
- Broken Bones
- Bed Sores
- Pressure Sores (Decubitus Ulcers)
- Medication Overdose
- Head Injury/Trauma
- Broken Glasses/Frames
- Signs of Restraint (e.g., rope marks)
Signs of Neglect in Fayetteville Nursing Homes
Nursing home neglect another form of elder abuse committed against residents of assisted living facilities. Neglect occurs when a patient receives substandard care. When this level of care results in harm, the nursing home is violating its duty to your loved one.
Many long-term care facilities treat their elderly residents with care and respect. Unfortunately, others do not. If you believe your loved one’s needs are being neglected, do not hesitate to contact our Fayetteville nursing home abuse attorney. While physical abuse might appear intentionally are harmful, neglect is just as bad and unacceptable. Report any allegations of neglect to the facility and contact our Fayetteville nursing home abuse attorney.
Neglect is often the result of insufficient staffing. Overworked and stressed employees might not be able to provide the care residents require. However, this is not an excuse and does not mean that the staff or facility should not be held liable. Another common cause of neglect is improper training. When a nursing home fails to train or vet its employees, the level of care could suffer.
Neglect takes various forms, including medical, emotional, or hygienic negligence. For instance, overworked staff could fail to administer medication or regularly move elderly residents with mobility issues. Emotional neglect occurs when residents are isolated or otherwise ignored. Many residents also rely on their caregivers to regularly dress and wash them.
Below are some signs that could indicate your loved one’s needs are being neglected.
- Unusual Weight Loss
- Poor Hygiene
- Soiled Bedding
Signs of Emotions Abuse in Fayetteville Nursing Homes
While a nursing home resident could suffer from emotional or social neglect, emotional abuse is different. When an elderly victim is emotionally abused, their self-confidence is eroded and their ability to love themselves is attacked. Emotionally abused nursing home residents believe that no one will care for them.
Emotional abuse does not leave physical scars, so the only way to protect your loved one is to be aware of the signs and be prepared to take steps to stop it – including contacting an experienced Fayetteville nursing home abuse attorney.
Since there are rarely any physical indicators, family members must be aware of the emotional indicators of abuse. If your loved one demonstrates any of the symptoms listed below, especially if they are deviations from their normal personality, you should investigate the quality of their treatment.
- Abuse Complaints
- Frequent Crying
- Emotional Outbursts
- Behavioral Changes
Signs of Sexual Abuse in Fayetteville Nursing Homes
Unfortunately, sexual abuse of the elderly in nursing homes is under-researched and poorly understood. Victims of sexual abuse in Fayetteville nursing homes often suffer from medical conditions that limit their ability to communicate, leave them in states of confusion, or result in memory loss. These conditions interfere with their ability to report or even understand what is occurring.
A predator in a nursing home could be another resident, a member of the staff, or a visiting healthcare provider. No matter who has abused your loved one, they should be held responsible. If you believe your family member is a victim of sexual abuse, contact local law enforcement and our Fayetteville nursing home sexual abuse attorney.
There are many forms of sexual abuse of the elderly. Some typical signs and indicators of inappropriate sexual conduct are listed below.
- Breast/Genital Bruising
- Venereal Disease
- Genital Infections
- Vaginal/Anal Bleeding
- Torn/Stained/Bloody Undergarments
Proving Nursing Home Abuse in Fayetteville
Proving nursing home abuse is challenging, even if your loved one has visible signs of injuries. Unfortunately, elderly adults are prone to accidents and their bodies are more susceptible to bruising. Furthermore, many nursing home residents have dementia or take medication that affects their memories or judgment. Singularly or combined, these conditions often make it difficult for a victim of abuse to report what has occurred. In many cases, it is up to a loved one to take proactive steps to gather evidence to prove the abuse happened. Our Fayetteville nursing home abuse lawyer has the resources and knowledge to assist in this task.
If you believe your loved one is the victim of abuse, you should begin by asking them questions and taking detailed notes of their responses. Additionally, you should note your own observations, paying close attention to your loved one’s physical appearance, bruises, and emotional state. Photographs are also helpful. Pictures of your loved one or the condition of the facility and their room could be compelling evidence in a lawsuit. Do not hesitate to ask for explanations from the staff if something appears wrong and take thorough notes of what they say.
It is also helpful to be active in your loved one’s medical care. For example, you should be aware of their medical history, so if anything appears troubling or out of the ordinary, you are able to compare it with their known condition.
Contact Our Experienced Fayetteville, AR Nursing Home Abuse Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you believe your loved one has been abused or is at risk of abuse, contact Ken Kieklak immediately. We are highly experienced in negotiating and litigating nursing home abuse cases and will advocate for you and your loved ones to better your chances of receiving appropriate compensation. Ken can help you recognize the signs of abuse or neglect, and work to obtain justice and compensation for you and your family. We litigate aggressively for our clients and don’t get paid until you do. To speak privately with a Fayetteville personal injury attorney, call our law offices at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online.