Information from Our Kansas City Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse Attorneys
While there are numerous safeguards in place to prevent elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes, this problem continues to be a widespread and growing epidemic in our country. If you believe that a family member has been, or is currently being, neglected by a nursing home or caregiver, there are steps you can take to protect them. Our nursing home negligence and abuse attorneys protect your legal rights and restore security, health, and quality of life.
- What are some of the signs of nursing home neglect?
- What should I do if I suspect my family member is a victim of nursing home neglect?
- Do I need a nursing home abuse attorney?
- Nursing Home Checklist
What are some of the signs of nursing home neglect?
Nursing home negligence can be one of the most difficult forms of abuse to detect. Depending upon the victim’s condition before arriving at the nursing home, many of the symptoms of neglect mirror symptoms related to common geriatric health problems, like dementia or incontinence. That does not mean you cannot distinguish between the abuse and the pre-existing condition.
Some of the signs of nursing home negligence or abuse include:
- Bedsores, decubitus ulcers
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Improper medication – too much or too little
- Poor hygiene, especially soiled clothes and linens
- Depression, dementia, or extreme mood swings
- Broken bones, bruises
What should I do if I suspect my family member is a victim of nursing home neglect?
If you suspect your family member is a victim of nursing home negligence, there are several safeguards in place to help right the problem before taking legal action. It’s very important to observe the nursing home staff and the pattern of treatment or symptoms before making a conclusion. Here are some tips on handling your suspicions:
- Consistent Visits — one of the first steps you can take is to make regular visits to the nursing home, preferably at different times in the day and week, to get a better picture of the care being provided.
- Speak Up — another step would be to speak up about your concerns: talk to the nurses, aides, doctors, and/or administrator at the nursing home. Point out the problems you are noticing and ask to know how they can be rectified.
- Contact an Ombudsman — the nationwide Nursing Home Ombudsman Program is designed to assist in the identification, investigation, and resolution of nursing home complaints. Under the 1978 amendments to the federal Older Americans Act, each state is required to run a nursing home ombudsman program. Click here to find the nursing home ombudsman in your state.
- Make a point to know the names, addresses and contact information of other residents and their family members. Make an agreement to watch out for each others’ loved ones.
Do I need a nursing home abuse attorney?
If you continue to fear for the safety of your relative, you should contact nursing home abuse and negligence attorneys as soon as possible. At our firm serving Kansas, Missouri, and Arizona, the dedicated nursing home negligence and abuse attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation and advise you of your legal rights. You and your family deserve to regain the peace of mind, dignity, and expenses taken from you by negligent or careless nursing home staff. We have the medical and legal experience to help you through this painful time.
Nursing Home Checklist
If your loved one is about to be moved to a nursing home, it’s important to make the best possible choice – one based on a thorough checklist of characteristics and qualifications that meet not only the required legal standard but also your personal expectations of care. Below is a basic nursing home checklist provided by our nursing home abuse attorneys; we encourage you to use it as a guideline when selecting a nursing home and make additions where you have particular concerns.
□ No strong, unpleasant odors
□ Clean hallways, bedrooms, dining room, restrooms
□ Residents are known by staff and have positive relationship with them
□ Food is healthy, well-presented, tailored to the needs of the residents
□ Rooms have functional quick response signals to contact staff in an emergency
□ Residents are able to meaningfully interact and enjoy each other
□ Rooms and/or facilities have personal touches, such as family pictures or cards
□ Grounds are well-maintained and monitored to protect residents
□ All shifts maintain adequate staffing levels for maximum care
□ Staff interacts with the residents and enjoys their work
□ Staff is knowledgeable of medical and emotional needs of the residents
□ Staff is well-trained and qualified
□ Nursing home administrator actively cares for the facility and residents
□ All questions from residents and their families are answered politely, promptly,and completely
The Residents and their Families
□ Residents and their families are positive about the home
□ Residents and their families feel cared for and respected
□ Residents and their families are given the assistance they request
□ Residents and their families trust the staff with personal possessions
□ Residents and their families can comfortably interact in the home
□ Residents and their families have access to special therapy or counseling
Protect your loved one from nursing home negligence and abuse—our attorneys can help you evaluate a nursing home, investigate suspicions of neglect, and successfully handle your legal claims. Contact The Law Offices of Cullan & Cullan M.D., J.D. today for compassionate, experienced legal counsel in Kansas, Missouri, and Arizona. Our nursing home abuse and negligence attorneys would be honored to help you and your family.