Family members who grow older often need extra assistance, sometimes even medical care. When this happens, they can be placed in nursing homes. This is done by families of the loved ones with the expectation that they will be taken care of properly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and people are mistreated in nursing homes. It is important for family members to watch for warning signs of abuse toward a loved one under a facility’s care. If found, justice can be sought for the individual with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Signs of Abuse
It is important for the loved ones of an individual in a nursing home to know what to look for if they suspect abuse. Abuse or neglect can be seen in many ways including physical abuse, sexual abuse, medication errors, and more. Some signs to look out for may include but is not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Unexplained bruises
- Sudden weight loss
- If the loved one expresses a fear of being left alone
The Older Adults Protective Services Act was amended in 1997 to mandate suspected abuse reportings. This requires an administrator or employee of a facility to report any abuse they may suspect within the establishment. This should be reported to the local Area Agency on Aging and licensed agencies. If it is sexual abuse, a serious physical or bodily injury, or suspicious death, the law requires additional reporting to the Department of Aging and local law enforcement.
What rights do residents have?
When a person becomes a resident at a nursing home, they have certain rights. This can include the following:
- To be informed of their personal medical conditions
- To be informed of any charges or services
- To receive the policies, resident rights and procedures of their facility in writing
- To be free of restraints unless medically ordered
- To manage their own finances
- To choose their own doctor and pharmacy
- All records are confidential
- To have their privacy, respect, and dignity maintained
- To participate in their plan of care and refuse any treatment they wish
- To voice their concerns without fear
- To receive immediate visitor access from loved ones
- To not be discharged or transferred unless for medical reasons, if the facility closes, nonpayment, or for reasons of their welfare or other residents’ welfare
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you love was injured due to the negligence of another party and wishes to speak with an experienced attorney, contact Lloyd J. Eisenberg & Associates today.