Nursing home residents represent some of the most vulnerable members of society. Nursing home staff are trusted to care for and protect these residents, and when they fail to carry out these duties either through negligence or direct abuse, they must be held accountable.
Serving residents of Arlington for over four decades, the personal injury lawyers at GKBM are here to help get you justice for the nursing home abuse or neglect your loved one has endured. Your Arlington nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer will provide bold, compassionate representation, giving your loved one the respect they deserve.
What Nursing Home Abuse in Arlington Looks Like
Incidents of elder abuse go largely under-reported. Often, victims are frightened of retaliation, too disabled to report their experiences, or have their reports dismissed because of cognitive decline. It is essential for family and friends of nursing home residents to be on the lookout for signs of abuse and seek protection and representation for their loved one from an Arlington nursing home abuse and neglect attorney from GKBM.
Nursing home abuse can take a variety of forms, some more obviously recognizable than others. In compiling data from studies investigating elderly abuse in care institutions National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that significant percentages of residents have experienced the following:
- Psychological abuse: 11.6%
- Physical abuse: 2.6%
- Financial abuse 6.8%
- Neglect 4.2%
- Sexual abuse 0.9%
- Emotional abuse: 4.6%
Using intentional force against an elderly person is an act of abuse, as is the improper administration of medication or improper use of restraints. Symptoms may appear as:
- Unexplained cuts or lacerations or bruising
- Marks on the wrists or ankles indicating the use of restraints
- Broken glasses
- Drug overdoses
- Indications of inappropriate (or lack of) administration of medications
Staff or caregivers preventing or attempting to prevent visitors from spending time alone with their loved ones is another red flag.
Forced sexual contact with a nursing home resident is an act of abuse. While this type of abuse can involve physical acts, forcing a person to watch explicit videos or undress is also abusive.
Staff members may carry out emotional abuse by intimidating, humiliating, or mocking those under their care. Continuously blaming and berating a resident for things out of the resident’s control, such as incontinence, are also examples of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse can be more challenging to detect than physical abuse, but behaviors such as rocking, mumbling, constant agitation, or mood changes are common symptoms.
Residents are vulnerable to financial exploitation, which can include theft of their belongings or identities, forgery, and misuse of their checks or credit cards.
Signs of this type of abuse include large bank account withdrawals, missing personal items or cash, unpaid bills, or charges for unnecessary services or items. Also, keep an eye out for changes to your loved one’s will or power of attorney. Abusive attendants or facility managers can coerce or intimidate residents into making these changes.
Nursing home residents do not suspect those caring for them to commit fraud against them, but it happens. Unethical doctors, nurses, or other caregivers may overcharge or “double bill” residents for care or recommend unnecessary, even fraudulent, treatments for medical conditions. They may charge for services not actually provided or receive “kickbacks” for referring patients to other healthcare providers.
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Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home abuse involves an act intended to hurt the resident, while neglect occurs when caregivers fail to fulfill their duty to care for the person, and that failure leads to harm. Nursing home neglect falls into four general categories:
- Basic needs, such as access to food, water, or a safe, clean environment
- Medical care, such as providing medication and attending to patients’ mobility needs or chronic conditions
- Personal hygiene, by failing to keep residents bathed and their clothes laundered
- Social and emotional care, by ignoring or isolating residents
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Make a Report, and Call an Arlington Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
In Tennessee, every adult is a mandatory reporter if they suspect elder abuse. Should the case be an emergency, call 911 and follow procedures established by the State, which include alerting a Tennessee long-term care ombudsman.
Then, speak with a knowledgeable nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Arlington from GKBM. Nursing Home abuse or neglect is a serious offense with significant consequences. By filing a claim on your loved one’s behalf, we can help restore their dignity and get them compensation for their losses and suffering.
The Statute of Limitations
There is a one-year statute of limitations for filing the abuse claim, making timely legal action critical. We will investigate the case comprehensively and gather the evidence needed to hold the nursing home and any other negligent parties accountable.
In nursing home abuse cases, emphasis typically falls on non-economic damages–the pain and suffering of the victim and, in some cases, their family members. You can also pursue punitive damages to punish the offenders for their horrendous actions. Of course, your attorney will seek recovery of abuse-related medical costs, and if your loved one was defrauded or suffered financial abuse, a settlement could recover those losses as well.
Your knowledgeable nursing home abuse and neglect attorney in Arlington, TN, will consult medical experts to review your loved one’s records and determine how they were harmed by the abuse. They will also investigate the nursing home’s history to see if these abusive conditions are systemic.
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Your Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney in Arlington Will Not Be Intimidated
When you file a claim against a nursing home, the facility’s legal representative and insurance providers will wage an all-out effort to disprove your claim or get away with paying your loved one far less than they are owed. Without a legal background or experience negotiating with powerful legal teams, a fair fight is impossible.
Your nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Arlington has the experience and skill to not only push back against the facility and its representatives but to hold them accountable for the damage they let happen on their watch.
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GKBM is dedicated to preserving the dignity of your loved one and ensuring safe, caring treatment for all nursing home residents. The abuse of the elderly or vulnerable cannot go unchecked.
Schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney in Arlington, TN as soon as you suspect abuse. Our team will take good care of your loved one.