Getting your elderly loved one the care they need is your top priority. You have decided that moving them into a nursing home is the only way they can live out their remaining years in safety and dignity. You put your trust in the staff of such institutions. You believe that they will have the care of your loved one at heart in everything that they do. When this turns out not to be the case, when you suspect that your relative is being neglected and abused, you must take decisive action.
Las Vegas nursing home abuse attorneys handle cases like this all the time. You need not worry if you have been unable to get concrete evidence of wrongdoing. Las Vegas nursing home negligence attorneys know how to gather such facts and put them to use in the pursuit of justice.
The Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing homes are privately owned and managed entities. As such, they are driven to make a profit. This entices some nursing homes to do so at the expense of the people they have under their care.
Some nursing homes hire non-qualified or under-qualified staff to save money. They do the bare minimum in screening prospective candidates for criminal history, drug use, or other anti-social behavior. They hire people who have never been in a nursing home setting and do not have the skills and temperament to deal with the needs of elderly people. This inevitably leads to abuse and neglect in the nursing home.
Another common cause of nursing home abuse is overcrowding. In their zeal to make money, some nursing homes are willing to exceed the capacity of the building to comfortably accommodate a certain number of residents and the ability of the staff to see to their needs.
Signs of Neglect
The best protection against nursing home abuse is the vigilance of people who are related to the residents. If your elderly loved one is in a nursing home, you should visit them often. When you do so, you should watch for signs of abuse and neglect, including the following:
1. General neglect
This occurs when caregivers fail to check on residents at regular intervals. This can be especially detrimental to patients with mobility issues or who need assistance to carry out basic functions. If your loved one looks tired, unkempt, and sickly whenever you visit them, it may owe to mistreatment through negligence.
2. Improper hygiene assistance
Your loved one should be washed and put into fresh clothes every day. This is a basic duty of a caregiver. Your loved one also has the right to request a bath or to receive assistance whenever they feel it is needed, even if it falls outside the scheduled period.
In the worst cases of nursing home neglect, elders are left in their own waste for extended periods of time, which is not only dehumanizing but also bad for their health. They can develop bedsores, infections, or other health issues if they are not properly washed and cleaned.
If you notice a strong stench attached to your loved one whenever you visit them, it may owe to improper hygiene.
3. Failure to address complaints
If your loved one has complained about a member of staff and the nursing home ignored it, then you can hold the nursing home accountable. Residents may complain about the fact that they do not receive enough visits from the attending staff, that the temperature of the room is uncomfortable, or that they have suffered physical or sexual abuse from another resident or member of staff. The nursing home must address and resolve such complaints.
4. Failure to report an injury
If your loved one has suffered a slip-and-fall and the carers failed to report it, this can lead to serious medical complications for them. They may suffer infections, internal bleeding, spine or hip injuries, and further mobility issues. Your loved one may be forced to endure extreme pain and suffering for a long period of time because they cannot get the treatment they need. This is an especially appalling form of nursing home neglect, and the people responsible for it should be held accountable.
Las Vegas personal injury attorneys know how to work these cases. Las Vegas nursing home abuse lawyers know how to gather concrete evidence of abuse and neglect. The Las Vegas nursing home negligence lawyers you hire will also file the necessary paperwork to get the lawsuit moving. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, then you should speak to the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright.