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Nursing Home Abuse – Olivio Law Firm PLLC, Charleston, WV

Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Fights Elderly Abuse

Families expect their elder members to be cared for in nursing facilities, but abuse of our elderly occurs all too frequently. Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable people in our society when their living situations are such that they cannot defend themselves. Nursing home abuse can take many forms; all of it is tragic emotionally, physically, and financially. It is important to remember that you are not at fault for the unethical treatment of your elderly family member.

Know the Signs of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

Some signs and symptoms of elder abuse are obvious, yet many others are subtle and go undetected until it is too late. Any physical, verbal or emotional abuse in a nursing home is unlawful, and can have a severe impact on the person’s overall health and wellbeing. Be sure to report any life-threatening suspicions to 911 promptly. Below are common warning signs and symptoms that indicate potential abuse of your elderly family member:

Bed Sores: Also called pressure sores, these skin injuries occur when a person is left to lie in bed in the same position for an extensive period of time. When a person lies in the same position, blood flow to pressure points on their body is diminished, which then allows bedsores to form.

Dehydration or Malnutrition: If an elderly person’s food and water consumption is not properly monitored, they are likely to suffer from severe or life-threatening health complications due to dehydration or malnutrition.

Broken Hips or Other Bones: Elderly individuals are susceptible to broken hips or other bones due to osteoporosis, poor balance and weakened eyesight. Therefore, when walking, bathing, or getting in or out of bed, a caregiver should always assist them. Broken bones may indicate that a resident is not being properly cared for or assisted.

Bruises, Welts, or Lacerations: Often dismissed by staff members as the result of clumsiness or an unfortunate accident, these skin abrasions can indicate physical abuse by unkind or impatient caregivers.

Depression or Uncharacteristic Behavior: Heightened psychological distress and feelings of worthlessness often accompany abuse. This causes many mistreated elders to fall into a deep depression or to display uncharacteristic behaviors. If you notice your elderly loved one has suddenly become withdrawn, has diminished interest in activities they once enjoyed, or talks about committing suicide, it is imperative to seek help immediately.

Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse of any kind in a nursing home is inexcusable. However, many nursing facilities actively participate in hiring, staffing or sanitation practices that increase the likelihood of abuse occurring at their facility. The following are common practices seen in nursing homes with increased incidents of resident abuse:

  • Understaffed Facilities: Because federal law only requires one registered nurse be on duty at any given time at a nursing facility, and because there are no minimum staffing requirements for nurse’s aides (the workers who provide the most direct, day-to-day care) many nursing homes staff their facilities with the least amount of employees necessary in order to cut overhead expenses and collect more profit.
  • Understaffed Facilities: Because federal law only requires one registered nurse be on duty at any given time at a nursing facility, and because there are no minimum staffing requirements for nurse’s aides (the workers who provide the most direct, day-to-day care) many nursing homes staff their facilities with the least amount of employees necessary in order to cut overhead expenses and collect more profit.
  • Inadequate Staff Training: Many nursing homes offer free training courses to potential employees as a way to entice them into working for their facility. However, these training courses are often poorly structured and are meant to meet the minimum amount of training required by law.
  • Lack of Sanitation and Hygiene: Serious health issues can develop when staff members fail to maintain adequate facility sanitation or resident hygiene. Additionally, life-threatening germs and bacteria can spread throughout nursing homes when staff members fail to take important hygienic precautions themselves, such as regularly washing their hands.
  • Medication Errors: When a medication is administered in a manner that contradicts a doctor’s orders, the manufacturer’s suggested dosage or an accepted professional standard of administration, residents are at risk for serious health complications or death.
  • Contact Olivio Law Firm PLLC–our experienced and compassionate West Virginia nursing home abuse lawyers work hard to ensure that justice is served. The health and happiness of your aging loved one is important to us, so please contact Olivio Law Firm PLLC if you suspect someone you love is the victim of elder abuse in the care of a nursing home. Your initial consultation is free, and we only get paid if you win. We have defended the rights of elder abuse victims and their families for more than 30 years, and we will work tirelessly to ensure your loved one receives the justice they deserve.

    Contact us today for a free consultation: (304) 414-0222 Olivio Law Firm, PLLC. People driven. West Virginia Proud.