Regardless of what circumstances lead up to it, making the decision to put a family member in a nursing home can be extremely difficult both practically and emotionally. Things can become exponentially more complicated if you find out your loved one has been subjected to neglect and/or abuse by the very people entrusted with caring for them.
Nursing home abuse is a colossal problem across the United States, and anyone who learns or even suspects it is happening to someone they care about should not hesitate to reach out to our injury attorneys at Lowenthal & Abrams. After ensuring your family member is safe from any further harm, your Harrisburg nursing home abuse lawyer will guide you step by step through the process of establishing who is to blame for their mistreatment, taking legal action in civil or criminal court as necessary, and demanding compensation for the harm that should never have occurred.
Causes and Effects of Nursing Home Mistreatment
One of the important things for concerned family members to understand is that nursing home abuse does not always stem from a single staff member or group of employees being intentionally malicious or cruel. In fact, many instances of nursing home abuse and neglect stem primarily from managerial misconduct, which could include:
- Failing to bring on enough staff to care for all residents in a facility
- Not hiring sufficiently qualified staff with clean background checks
- Not providing necessary equipment
- Simply failing to keep up with federal and state regulations
Whether it happens because of or in spite of the efforts of facility staff members, nursing home abuse can have devastating financial, physical, and personal effects on impacted residents. Residents may face medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, emotional and psychological distress, lost quality of life, and more. A compassionate Harrisburg nursing home abuse attorney can help demand fair compensation for all damages suffered by a nursing home resident, or in some cases, by their loved one’s premature death.
Identifying and Taking Action Against Abuse
Nursing home abuse can be hard to positively identify, even for people who pay close attention to their family member’s condition. Abuse inside nursing homes does not always result in open and obvious symptoms, and mistreated residents may be cognitively unable to tell family members what they are going through or too afraid of retaliation to report it.
Because of this, it is crucial to know in advance about common signs of abuse and neglect inside nursing homes, such as:
- Consistent small injuries like cuts and bruises, particularly around the ankles and wrists
- Unexplained illnesses and infections, especially around the genitals
- Bedsores at any stage of development
- Staff refusing to let residents be alone with visitors or have visitors at all
- Sudden changes in personality or mood
- Skittishness around a particular staff member
- Regression to childlike behaviors like thumb-sucking
- Unexpected changes to a resident’s financial accounts or estate planning documents
A nursing home neglect lawyer in Harrisburg can offer guidance about whether mistreatment may be occurring or has occurred in a particular situation and—if so—what state authorities to report it to and what legal action to take.
Set Up a Free Consultation with a Harrisburg Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
No one living inside an assisted living facility or nursing home should have their rights violated or be subject to abuse or neglect under any circumstances. If you believe your loved one is being mistreated, acting quickly and proactively could be vital to protecting them physically in the short term and preserving their best interests in the long term.
In both respects, support from a seasoned Harrisburg nursing home abuse lawyer is essential. To learn more about what our dedicated team of attorneys can do for you, give us a call today.