Placing a loved one in an assisted living center is a difficult decision. As your parents and other relatives get older and less able to care for themselves they depend more and more on assistance from their children, friends and often professionals we trust with their care. Unfortunately, all too often these individuals violate that trust, despite your best efforts and due diligence. Health care workers have incredible power over the elderly and infirm. They often take advantage by siphoning money from their bank accounts or stealing personal property. They sometimes neglect their vulnerable patients which may lead to malnourishment, bed sores, sepsis, inadequate medication, infection and sometimes death. In extreme cases vulnerable patients suffer physical or sexual abuse at the hands of those in whom you placed your trust.
Elder abuse or nursing home abuse can be the product of either an intentional or a negligent act. Professionals entrusted with the care of the elderly, whether they are nursing home employees or professionals who come to the home, have a duty to provide a standard of care and quality treatment to patients under their care. When this duty is violated, the individual as well as the nursing home or other facility can be held liable for resulting harm. In 1987 Congress passed the Federal Nursing Home Care Reform Act. This law created a minimum set of standards regarding the care and rights of people living in nursing home facilities.
State agencies are tasked with enforcing this law and as a result conduct unannounced inspections and evaluations of nursing home facilities every nine to fifteen months. They also investigate nursing home injury cases. The results of the inspections and investigations are public information.
Reporting elder and nursing home abuse can be difficult. Oftentimes victims are scared the perpetrator will retaliate against them if they report the abuse. Sometimes victims are too embarrassed to report the abuse. In some cases the victim is physically unable to report the abuse. If you or a loved one is being abused in a nursing home or by a health care professional, you should report the abuse immediately. If the victim is in imminent danger of being severely injured or killed, call 911.
If the victim is not in imminent danger, the person reporting elder abuse should call the Eldercare Locator toll-free at 1-800-677-1116. This service aids persons reporting elder abuse in finding the appropriate local agency to best meet their needs. After reporting elder abuse to the proper authorities it is important to contact an attorney immediately. Just like any other lawsuit, there are statutes that cut off your legal right to seek compensation for nursing home and elder abuse. In fact, since some nursing homes receive public funds they may be protected under the tort claim notice statute which requires that you file notice of your intent to sue within six months of the abuse.
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home, contact The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. in order to secure your legal rights, and to ensure you will receive the maximum compensation under the law.
Common forms of elder abuse: Fraud, Forgery, Identity Theft, Extortion, Negotiating a Bad Check, Aggravated Theft, Assault, Battery, Murder, Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Rape, Sodomy, Unlawful Sexual Penetration, Sexual Abuse, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Unlawful Imprisonment, Unsanitary Living Conditions.
Common nursing home injuries: malnourishment, bed sores, pressure ulcers, sepsis, infection, dehydration, fractures, dislocations, bruising, abrasions.← back to areas of practice