Washington DC Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
When you pay and entrust a nursing home to take care of a loved one, it becomes the responsibility of that organization to care and watch our for your loved one. Failure to prevent something that could’ve been easily prevented may be considered negligent behavior and a civil case may present itself. At times, a loved one may not be able to report an issue in his/her personal care. The abuse or neglect of the most vulnerable members of society is reprehensible, criminal, and also a tort worthy of compensation.
If you believe that your elderly loved one has been a victim of abuse or neglect while living in a residential care facility, you should contact a Washington, DC nursing home abuse lawyer at Gelb & Gelb, P.C. Our experienced personal injury lawyers in DC are available to guide you through the claims process and prepare you for what to expect at each step.
Common Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes in Washington DC
While most people think of abuse to constitute physical harm, such as punching, slapping, or causing other bodily injuries, physical abuse is not the only type of abuse. For example, emotional or verbal abuse can occur at the hands of caregivers, which, over time, is likely to cause adverse psychological effects on nursing home residents.
Employees, other residents, and visitors all can perpetrate elder abuse in long-term care facilities. However, employees may do so most commonly, as they have the most frequent access to residents. Other possible types of abuse may include financial exploitation, such as defrauding residents or stealing their money or property, and sexual abuse. Improperly isolating residents and cutting them off from contact with others as punishment is another form of mental or psychological abuse.
Abuse also can take the form of neglect. Caregivers who fail to accurately administer medications to residents, help them with basic hygiene, or ensure that they have adequate food and drink consumption can lead to the rapid deterioration of already vulnerable nursing home residents. Individuals who believe that their family members are suffering from abuse or neglect may wish to get the advice of a nursing home abuse lawyer in DC.
Signs of Abuse
Although elder abuse and neglect have increasingly come to light in nursing homes, you still should take steps to monitor the health and wellbeing of your loved ones when they are placed in residential care. Otherwise, you may miss out on vital signs of abuse or neglect and cannot protect them from harm.
The telltale signs to look out for include:
- Weight loss which may be a result of malnutrition
- Bed sores
- Changes in behavior
- The overall condition of the nursing home itself
Although the above-referenced list is not exhaustive, noticing any one of these conditions may give loved-ones reason to contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss the matter in greater detail.
There are certain types of neglect or abuse that nursing home lawyers look for, including:
- failure on behalf of the nursing home to provide medical attention to their patients
- failure to provide food, water and a safe, clean environment
- failure to provide emotional and social support to the patient
- failure to keep the patient clean (washing, brushing teeth, etc.).
If there is suspicion of nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s imperative to discuss the case with an nearby attorney.
The Legal Duties that Nursing Homes Owe to Their Residents
Nursing home administrators and employees owe a duty of reasonable care to the residents of their facilities. Their job is to protect the residents from harm and ensure that they get the physical and medical care that they need. When they fail to abide by the level of care that a reasonable person would provide in the same situation, they may be liable for any injuries that result.
For instance, nursing home employees must prevent physical harm to residents. This duty can include tasks like:
- Failing to ensure that residents do not attempt to walk or get out of bed on their own
- Using proper protocols to lift and move patients
- Taking steps to avoid bedsores and circulation problems in mostly bedridden residents
- Protecting residents from other combative or abusive residents
Nursing home employees also should ensure that residents get the medical care that they need. Residents should not have to suffer in pain, but they should not be overly sedated to control their behavior. Likewise, residents usually should not be subject to constant restraints except when necessary.
With nursing home understaffing and a shortage of workers being a common problem, some nursing home residents may suffer abuse or neglect. Nursing homes are liable when injuries to these residents occur. Looking to a nursing home abuse attorney in Washington, DC, for legal assistance and guidance may be beneficial.
Talk to a Washington, DC Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
When you entrust your loved one to a nursing home facility, you expect them to receive appropriate care and treatment. If a nursing home fails to protect the health and safety of your loved one, they may be liable for the resulting harm that your loved one suffers. Contact a Washington, DC nursing home abuse lawyer to learn about your possible means of recourse.
Experienced legal counsel can help investigate the circumstances that led to injuries to your loved and identify all potentially liable parties. They can help you build a strong case against the responsible parties and work toward getting your loved one the compensation they deserve. Call Roger Gelb at Gelb & Gelb, P.C., today to get started on your case.