Although it can be painful to think about, residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are uniquely susceptible to neglect or mistreatment from the very people we trust to care for them. If allowed to persist, abusive and neglectful behavior from nursing home staff members, administrators, and even owners can have devastating, and potentially fatal, consequences for the individuals subjected to it.
If you suspect your family member has been subjected to mistreatment in an assisted living facility, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or memory care facility, you should contact a Holland nursing home abuse lawyer and discuss your legal options. Once your loved one is safe, a compassionate personal injury attorney can help you seek civil compensation from the person or entity responsible for harming them.
What are the Different Types of Residential Care Facilities?
Nursing homes are a common type of long-term care facility for adults who need assistance with daily, non-medical tasks. Assisted living facilities are similar, but residents typically do not require as much care as individuals in nursing homes.
People in skilled nursing facilities require a much higher level of care. Medical professionals treat residents for injuries or long-term health conditions, and the facility provides 24-hour monitoring.
Memory care facilities specifically aid people suffering from memory loss due to conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. These facilities provide a safe structured environment to help residents manage their daily activities.
A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand the responsibilities that nursing homes and other types of residential care facilities have to their residents. Additionally, our firm can help you file a civil claim if a facility has neglected your family member.
Extreme Neglect in Nursing Homes
Most accidents in nursing homes occur due to extreme neglect rather than intentional abuse. Often, nursing homes and other types of care facilities are understaffed, meaning the employees are overworked and exhausted.
In these conditions, staff members can make mistakes with catastrophic consequences. For example, an employee may accidentally switch two residents’ medications or forget to change a resident’s bedsheets. If a staff member exhibited this type of extreme negligence and harmed your loved one, get in touch with a nursing home abuse attorney.
Identifying Abuse and Neglect in Holland Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, and often it does not have immediately obvious symptoms. Complicit staff members might even dismiss visible signs of physical and sexual abuse as bumps and bruises from everyday accidents.
Similarly, the differences between the natural difficulties of caring for nursing home residents and actionable negligence can be hard for even attentive family members to discern. That said, you should look out for these common symptoms of abuse and neglect:
- Sudden and unusual changes in the resident’s personality and/or mood
- Reversion to infantile behaviors like biting and rocking
- Noticeable fear of or discomfort around certain staff members
- Abnormally poor personal hygiene and/or unsanitary living conditions
In addition to explaining possible legal options, an experienced Holland attorney can determine whether suspicious circumstances constitute evidence of nursing home abuse.
What Can I Do as a Concerned Family Member?
In emergencies, the priority should be moving your loved one to a new, safe situation. Next, you should get them immediate medical care and—if necessary—contact local law enforcement.
After your family member is safe and any physical injuries have been treated, a determined lawyer can work with you to file a lawsuit and prove the nursing home employees or owners abused or neglected your loved one. Through a successful nursing home abuse claim, your loved one can recover compensation for excess medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional anguish.
However, a lawsuit is not the only way to address instances of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, nor is it always the best course of action. Sometimes it is more efficient to file a claim with the nursing home and pursue a settlement.
Wrongful Death Claims for Survivors
Occasionally, abuse or neglect can lead to the premature death of a nursing home resident. If your family member lost their life due to the negligence of a nursing home’s staff, our firm can help you pursue a wrongful death claim for financial, emotional, and personal losses.
Get Legal Help from a Holland Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Every nursing home resident in Holland has the right to expect a certain level of care and support from staff members. Though most nursing homes fulfill this obligation without any problems, far too many nursing homes subject residents to unconscionable abuse and neglect that has the potential to cause permanent damage.
A Holland nursing home abuse lawyer can help you take proactive action to keep your loved one safe and hold negligent or abusive staff members liable for their misconduct. Call Charles E. Boyk Law Offices today to schedule a free, easy consultation and begin working on your case.