Scottsdale Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorney
Legal Advocacy for When Nursing Homes Fail to Protect Our Elders and Loved Ones
Seniors and families place their trust in nursing homes to provide personal care for their residents so they can lead healthy lives and enjoy their golden years. Most nursing homes are regulated by federal law because they receive funds through Medicare. Nursing facilities also must comply with Arizona nursing home laws. When nursing homes are understaffed, poorly maintained, security is lax, and improperly supervised, seniors can suffer serious injuries and even wrongful death.
At Amar Esq. PLLC, we are dedicated to assisting seniors who suffer any type of abuse or injuries from neglect. Our Scottsdale nursing home attorney understands how difficult it can be for seniors to communicate the wrongs that have happened to them. That is why we work with trained psychologists and counselors, in addition to family and friends, to help seniors get the justice they deserve when wrongs occur.
Types of Nursing Home & Elderly Abuse
Nursing homes abuse generally falls into one of the following four categories:
Physical abuse can be active physical abuse such as striking or assaulting a resident. In nursing homes, physical abuse is more often caused by the failure of the home and staff to have proper procedures in place to prevent known complications. Some of the complications nursing homes should address are:
- Bedsores – Also called pressure sores, these wounds can cause infections, damage tissue, reduce joint mobility, result in sepsis and cause other problems. Nursing homes should treat the risk of bedsores by properly and regularly repositioning seniors who can’t move on their own. Cushions and quality mattresses can help.
- Malnutrition and dehydration – Nursing home facilities should be sure they understand each resident’s diet and that the resident is getting the foods and liquids needed to survive. Malnutrition and dehydration can weaken the immune system, cause muscle fatigue, and a broad range of other problems. Food should be easy for the resident to reach, should be served in a timely manner, and in proper proportions.
- Adverse drug reactions – Nursing homes should be held responsible when the facility fails to properly give the residents their medications, fails to check and explain the possible side effects, and fails to review the dangers of interactions with other drugs.
Many seniors can be abused when the nursing home simply fails to pay any attention to them. Some staff members may isolate the seniors or intimidate the senior by making them feel like they shouldn’t assert their rights for fear of being punished. Insults, improper comments, and other verbal comments can make the nursing home resident feel very uncomfortable. Also, some residents may directly be told that if they complain, they will not be fed or get their medications. Signs of emotional abuse include depression, confusion, an unwillingness to participate in social events, or unusual behavior such as biting one’s nails.
Sadly, some staff members, other residents, or visitors see their close daily relationship with a senior as a way to take advantage of them by sexually harassing, assaulting, or even raping them. Signs of sexual abuse can include emotional withdraw, physical scarring, and other psychological or physical injuries.
Management and nursing home staff often have access to social security numbers, bank account information, credit information, and other financial information. Some seniors may even wrongly sign a power of attorney or a will that benefits someone in the nursing home facility. Residents should consider having someone they trust review their financial records on a regular basis for signs of fraud, appropriation, or misuse.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing homes should design their facilities to accommodate seniors. Since seniors often are unable to stand or walk, extra care must be taken to install railings, ramps for wheelchairs, and other measures to minimize the risk of physical harm. Bathrooms should have an easy way for the senior to bathe themselves without having to worry about slipping and falling. Staff should be available and trained to assist seniors in their rooms and around the facility. The facility should have the right equipment such as wheelchairs to enable seniors to move about.
Nursing Home Bill of Rights
Nursing homes who are governed by Medicare are obligated to provide their residents with a Bill of Rights. Such rights generally include:
- Freedom from discrimination
- Freedom from neglect and abuse
- The right to exercise Constitutional rights
- The right to contact your representative
- The right to proper medical care
- The right to not have any physical restraints
- The right of respect
- The right to be with visitors and engage in social activities
- The right to manage your own money
- The right to be protected against an involuntary discharge
- The right to be informed about nursing home fees
- The right to complain
- The right to privacy, personal property, and living facilities
Speak With a Scottsdale Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
Our Scottsdale elder abuse attorney helps seniors assert their rights. When neglect or abuse occurs, our firm brings the appropriate claims against the nursing homes that failed their duty of care. Our firm demands payment for medical bills, pain and suffering, and any other harms. To schedule a free consultation please call 480-802-8232.