We only want what is best for our loved ones. When they can no longer care for themselves or need more help than you, and your family members can give, you must make the difficult decision to place them in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
You likely did your due diligence when searching for the right nursing home for your family member. You looked at reviews, went on tours of various facilities, met with each facility’s management, and listened to your loved one’s input. Sadly, even when you believe you and your family have made a thoughtful and educated choice, your loved one may still become a victim of nursing home abuse and neglect.
At Slater & Zurz, our Toledo nursing home abuse attorneys are deeply saddened that often those who should be highly revered and well-cared for in our society are abused and neglected. Their mental and physical vulnerability makes them easy targets for those who fail to provide proper care or intentionally cause mental, emotional, and physical harm. We are strong advocates for nursing home residents and their families and fight aggressively to bring these families justice and ensure the perpetrators of the abuse and neglect are never again allowed to harm others.
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, we urge you to reach out to our firm. We offer you and your family the opportunity to meet with one of our skilled nursing home abuse attorneys free of cost because we want to ensure you receive the knowledge and guidance you need to adequately address this serious situation.
The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act
Initially, the nursing home industry was largely unregulated. Over the years, concerns grew over the quality of care residents were receiving. Lawmakers realized laws to protect the health and well-being of those residing in nursing homes needed to be put in place and passed the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) in 1987. It established minimum standards of care for nursing home residents and defined their legal rights. It stated that residents have the right to:
- Be treated with dignity and respect
- The freedom from abuse, neglect, and mistreatment
- The freedom from physical and chemical restraints unless medically necessary
- Manage one’s finances or choose someone to do so
- Be informed of one’s medical conditions and consult a doctor of their choice
- Refuse medications or treatments
- Choose their schedules and activities
- A living environment that provides comfort and independence
If you feel any of your loved one’s rights have been violated, we highly recommend speaking to a nursing home abuse attorney who will help you remedy the situation and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
Nursing Home Standard of Care
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities must meet a minimal standard of care. According to the NHRA, nursing homes are required to:
- Maintain adequate staffing
- Determine the functional capacity of each resident
- Develop and follow each resident’s specific care plan
- Ensure continual access to proper medical care
- Protect the residents’ rights to care for themselves
- Provide adequate nutrition and hydration
- Provide and monitor the residents’ medications
- Maintain complete and accurate clinical records
If they fail to comply with the requirements set forth in the NHRA, they face serious consequences, including written violations, hefty fines, the loss of their accreditation and certifications, and the denial of Medicare and Medicaid funding.
Common Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is, unfortunately, a widespread problem in our country. Residents are vulnerable to several forms of abuse, the most common being listed below.
Although it is difficult to imagine, older adults are often physically abused by those entrusted to care for them. Physical abuse can result in long-term emotional trauma, permanent injury, and even wrongful death. Physical abuse signs and symptoms include broken bones, head trauma, bruising, social withdrawal, and sudden fear of being alone with their caretaker.
Verbal, Emotional, and Psychological Abuse
These forms of abuse are far too common in nursing home settings. They are also difficult to identify because they lack any physical signs. Although, prolonged abuse can have physical effects on its victims. Verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse includes:
- Ignoring the resident
Things to look for include trouble sleeping, social withdrawal, changes in self-esteem, and fear toward a caregiver.
Sexual abuse can be committed by nursing home staff, fellow residents, or visitors of the facility. It often goes unreported because the victim feels embarrassed or humiliated, or is mentally or physically unable to communicate the abuse to others. Signs and symptoms include sexually-transmitted diseases, bruising near genitals or breasts, and vaginal or anal bleeding.
Financial abuse occurs when a nursing home resident’s money, assets, or personal belongings are taken from them. It can include forging checks, taking valuables or cash from the resident’s room, using their credit cards, or convincing the resident to sign over their home or change their will. Things to look for include collection notices, missing items in your loved one’s room, and unexplained credit card charges.
When nursing home staff members fail to provide proper care, a resident’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being suffers. Sudden weight loss, dehydration, bedsores, poor hygiene, and unclean accommodations can be signs of neglect.
If you suspect your family member has experienced any of the above forms of abuse, turn to Slater & Zurz. We will take immediate and aggressive action to ensure your loved one’s safety, protect them from any further abuse, and take the necessary steps to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for the harm they caused.
Damages in a Toledo Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Learning your loved one has become a victim of nursing home abuse is devastating. You are likely shocked and angry that the people you trusted to care for them and protect their emotional and physical well-being were the ones who ultimately caused them harm.
The dedicated nursing home abuse attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP are here to help. Once we have worked with you and your loved ones to ensure their continued safety, we will begin our fight for justice by filing a Toledo nursing home abuse lawsuit against the responsible parties. Compensation available to the victims of abuse vary. Though, depending on your case’s circumstances, you may be entitled to the following compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Costs for future medical care
- Psychological care
- Property loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Wrongful death damages
We Hold Ohio Nursing Homes Accountable
Our experienced team of Toledo personal injury attorneys is relentless in our pursuit of justice. We will pursue every legal avenue to ensure you and your loved one receive financial compensation for the treatment they endured at the hands of nursing home staff. Our attorneys will also fight to see that appropriate legal measures are taken to prevent those responsible for the abuse are ever allowed to do it again.
Nursing home abuse cases are often challenging. You need a legal team with the knowledge and resources to get your desired result. When experience matters, turn to Slater & Zurz. To arrange your FREE consultation, contact us online or call (419) 658-7171. We are available anytime, day or night, to assist you.