Nebraska nursing homes and long term care facilities have a legal duty to keep our elderly loved ones safe and healthy. When they fail to do so due to negligent or abusive staff members and caregivers, we have a right to file a lawsuit against the facility. Facility understaffing isn’t an excuse. Our loved ones deserve better care.
When the family members of an elderly nursing home resident file a lawsuit against a facility, the resident will be relocated to a safer environment. Additionally, if the claim is successful, the nursing home or facility will be forced to compensate the resident and their family for any physical and emotional suffering that was a result of the negligence or abuse. A lawsuit is sometimes the only way to ensure that other residents don’t suffer in the same way.
If you fear for the safety of your loved one or have seen evidence pointing toward physical or emotional abuse or any type of suffering that may have been caused by negligence or carelessness, you should reach out to an Omaha, NE nursing home abuse lawyer today. Doing so will grant you the peace of mind and safety your loved one deserves.
First, let’s go over some of the facts about nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuits.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect are More Complicated Than You May Believe
Nursing home abuse and neglect are quite different, but both exhibit many of the same symptoms and are directly caused by facility staff members failing to properly care for residents. Neglect may be intentional or unintentional while abuse is usually intentional.
There are more than a couple different types of abuse. Here are the different types and some of the symptoms which may pinpoint that a loved one is being abused or neglected in a long term care facility:
Nursing home neglect comes in various forms. When a facility is understaffed and staff members fail to properly watch residents or provide a basic level of care, this is neglect. When a resident is malnourished because they need assistance feeding themselves and do not receive it, for example, this is neglect. When a loved one falls after attempting to get up on their own because no one helps them to the restroom, this is neglect.
Neglect can also take the form of failing to get a resident the medical care they need or failing to keep a facility clean and safe for its residents. One other thing nursing home staff members must watch out for is resident wandering, often referred to as elopement. If your loved one is prone to wander, it’s up to facility employees to properly ensure they remain safe and can’t leave the premises or endanger themselves.
Residents who are neglected are often malnourished, unnaturally quiet, have bruises or scrapes from falling, or exhibit other signs of uncleanliness.
Physical abuse is the easiest type of abuse to notice and generally occurs when staff members hit residents, improperly use restraints, or forcefully mishandle them. Telltale signs of physical abuse include scars, bruises, broken bones, cuts, scrapes, and restraint marks.
Emotional and mental abuse are difficult to pinpoint and can present when a resident is ridiculed or humiliated by staff members or intimidated. Even being excessively ignored by staff members can count as emotional abuse. Signs of emotional or mental abuse can vary, but will generally include sudden mood changes, noticeable signs of fear, or a sudden desire to withdraw—especially when staff members are nearby.
Financial abuse is more common in non-institutional caregiving situations, but it may also occur at nursing homes where the residents have control over their finances. It may occur when a staff member steals or coerces a resident into giving them bank account information or stealing cash or property from the resident. If you notice your loved one has unexplained items missing or has lost money recently, this may be evidence of financial abuse.
Sexual abuse is rare in nursing homes, but it does happen. It occurs when non-consensual sexual acts take place. Victims are usually forced and showcase signs of both physical and emotional abuse.
Find Help for a Loved One with an Omaha Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you suspect your loved one may be getting injured or is suffering due to negligence and/or abuse in a nursing home, you should contact Nebraska’s Elderly Abuse Hotline immediately. They will be able to help you relocate your loved one to a safe environment. Never take chances with the life of a loved one. Gathering any evidence you can in the way of medical documentation and photographs of injuries and conditions at this time can also help.
After you have relocated your loved one, you will want to contact an Omaha, NE nursing home abuse lawyer if you’re located in the state of Nebraska. Welsh & Welsh can pair you with an attorney who’s experienced in nursing home abuse cases and their complex nature. Together, we can fight on behalf of your loved one and ensure that no one at that facility is ever harmed again.