Currently, more than 40 million people over the age of 65 live in the U.S. By 2030, senior citizens are going to make up over 20 percent of the country’s total population.
With more people surpassing this milestone, the population in nursing homes is also growing. While many facilities treat their residents with respect and dignity, cases of nursing home neglect and abuse are still a serious problem that impacts those who live here.
Consider these facts:
- Over 40 percent of residents in nursing homes have reported some type of abuse or neglect.
- Only one of every 25 cases of abuse are reported.
- Up to 50 percent of all nursing home staff have admitted to neglecting or abusing patients in their care.
At Fetterman & Associates, we find these statistics completely unacceptable. Your elderly loved ones deserve to live safely and have respect. If these individuals are neglected or abused, they deserve to receive justice. Some tips for recognizing nursing home neglect or abuse and being able to pursue a case against it can be found here.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can be categorized into four categories:
- Financial abuse: Try to find signs of unexplained financial transactions, changes in a loved one’s financial situation, or missing property.
- Sexual abuse: Signs of this abuse include unexplained STDs, bruising, or other physical indications.
- Emotional abuse: Signs of this include personality changes, unexplained mood changes, anxiety, and fearful behaviour.
- Physical abuse: Watch for unexplained injuries, such as broken bones or bruises.
Nursing Home Neglect vs. Nursing Home Abuse
One of the biggest differences between neglect and abuse is that sometimes, neglect is unintentional. In many cases, it’s a symptom of another problem at the facility, such as improper staff training, or understaffing. While this is true, just because it is unintentional, it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.
Some of the signs of nursing home neglect to be aware of include:
- Unsanitary conditions
- Poor hygiene
- Malnutrition or weight loss
Steps to File a Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home for Neglect or Abuse
If you believe your loved one has been neglected or abused while in a nursing home, the first step is to hire an attorney. The attorneys at Fetterman & Associates will begin investigating your claim along with any relevant medical records. If they believe there is evidence for a case, a lawsuit will be filed.
The next step in the process is called discovery, which is when the attorneys request documents and depose any witnesses. The legal professionals representing the nursing home will do the same. During this process, the attorneys you hire will try to negotiate a settlement; however, if this effort is unsuccessful, they will go to trial.
Don’t Wait to Seek Legal Assistance
If you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, it’s essential that you hire an attorney right away. Our team at Fetterman & Associates can help ensure your loved one’s rights are protected and that they receive the compensation and justice they deserve. Contact our legal team today to get started by calling 561-845-2510.