legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Albany Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Seniors represent a significant portion of Albany’s population, and as more residents near their retirement age, the senior population is only slated to grow. Should your loved one ever require assisted care, it is important to be able to make educated decisions regarding who should be trusted to provide that care.
The affiliate New York, personal injury attorneys of Nursing Home Law Center LLC, are committed to helping ensure that the elderly receive the dignity and respect they deserve at a time when nursing home neglect and abuse are occurring at an alarming rate.
Is your loved one the victim of nursing home abuse? Contact our Albany nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565, or use the contact form for additional information and answers, or schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your case. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse encompasses any type of mistreatment, misconduct, or exploitation of residents in nursing facilities. It can take different forms, but all kinds of abuse or neglect have one thing in common: they cause physical or emotional harm to the victim.
The National Center on Elder Abuse is responsible for collecting data on abuse in nursing homes. The organization also keeps track of the different types of abuse that occur in nursing facilities and how it impacts the elderly.
Their data shows that there can be seven types of elder abuse. These include physical abuse, financial exploitation, self-neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and abandonment.
The data also shows that 1 to 2 million Americans aged 65 or above have been abused by people they entrusted to care for them. Unfortunately, the most common type of abuse in nursing homes is neglect. It occurs when the caregivers in the facility fail to provide the residents with the proper care they need.
This can be intentional or unintentional, but it often leads to serious harm. Other types of abuse experienced by vulnerable residents include physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse.Responsibilities of Staff Members in Nursing Homes
The staff at the assisted living facility is responsible for providing quality care to residents. It includes ensuring that the residents receive proper nutrition, hydration, and medications.
The nursing home staff members must also assist with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. In addition, the staff is responsible for providing transportation to appointments and social activities.
The staff must maintain communication with the residents' families to keep them updated on their loved one's conditions. Here are some additional duties of the staff members:
- Moving Elderly Patients: If mobility-challenged patients stay in the same position for too long, they can develop pressure sores. Therefore, the staff must move them every few hours.
- Monitoring Patients: The staff must constantly monitor patients to ensure their safety. It includes checking on them every 15 minutes and performing hourly rounds.
- Providing Stimulation: One of the primary responsibilities of the staff members is to keep residents engaged. They can do this by leading group activities, such as arts and crafts or music therapy.
- Maintaining the Facility: The staff must also keep the facility clean and organized. It includes mopping floors, doing laundry, and taking out the trash.
The nursing home administrators must ensure that the staff members are doing their jobs properly. If the staff in a nursing home setting is negligent towards its duty, the residents will not receive the care they deserve.
Therefore, the nursing home administrators must perform regular audits of the facility and staff members. It will help identify potential problems so that they can be fixed before they cause harm to the residents.Types of Abuse Nursing Home Residents May Experience
An elderly resident in a nursing home may experience one or more of the following types of abuse.
Physical abuse is the most easily noticeable type of nursing home abuse. It is defined as using physical force that may result in bodily injury, pain, or impairment.
Physical abuse can range from slapping or pushing to more serious offenses such as pinching, burning, bone fractures, and even homicide. If a resident experiences severe nursing home abuse and neglect, it can lead to wrongful death.
Sexual abuse is any sexual contact or interaction that occurs without the victim's consent. It can include unwanted touching, rape, and sexual coercion.
Emotional or psychological abuse is defined as any type of verbal or nonverbal behavior that causes mental anguish or distress. Some common forms of emotional abuse are:
- Name-Calling: Other residents or staff call the victim derogatory names, such as "stupid" or "crazy."
- Threats: The victim is threatened with physical or sexual abuse or other consequences if they do not comply with the abuser's demands.
- Intimidation: The abuser uses looks, words, or gestures to frighten the victim.
- Isolation: The victim is isolated from family and friends or denied access to social activities.
Financial abuse is the illegal or improper use of an elder's money, property, or assets. It can involve forged signatures, identity theft, and fraud.
A staff member may coerce an elder into signing a contract or agreement that is not in the elder's best interests. Financial exploitation can also occur when someone takes an elder's money without permission, such as taking money for non-existent medical bills.
Nursing Home Neglect
Albany nursing home residents may be neglected if they are not provided with the necessities of life, such as food, water, clothing, shelter, medical care, and personal hygiene. Neglect can also occur when a staff member fails to provide adequate supervision or protection for residents.
The types mentioned above of abuse or neglect are not exhaustive but can help family members identify nursing home abuse.
Do you suspect abuse or neglect and see no intervention from the nursing home administrator? You should seek legal services from a nursing home abuse attorney to hold the facility accountable for the abusive treatment of your loved one.Who is Susceptible to Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
While there's a risk of abuse against any nursing home resident, certain population groups may be more susceptible to maltreatment. Here are some vulnerable residents:
Cognitive decline refers to a deterioration in a person's thinking skills. It can make it difficult for someone to understand what's happening around them, remember important information, or make informed decisions.
Residents who are cognitively impaired or have dementia may be more likely to be abused or neglected because they may be less able to communicate what is happening to them. They may also be more likely to be isolated from family and friends, which can make it harder for people to notice if something is wrong.
Elder abuse against physically impaired residents is often related to their dependency on caregivers for basic needs like bathing, dressing, and using the restroom. When residents are unable to take care of themselves, they are likely to be neglected or have their personal rights violated.
Such residents may also be at risk of physical abuse if caregivers become frustrated or angry when providing care.
Nursing home residents with infrequent visitors are more likely to be abused or neglected. They may not have people checking in on them regularly to ensure they're being adequately cared for, and they may not have someone to confide in if something is wrong.Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Happen?
There are many reasons why nursing home abuse may occur, including:
In some cases, abuse and neglect may be due to understaffing at the facility. It can lead to overwhelmed and overworked nurses and aides who may vent their frustration on the residents.
It also means nursing home residents don't get proper supervision and may wander off, putting them in danger.
Lack of Training
Nursing home staff may not be adequately trained to deal with the needs of the residents. They may not know how to handle difficult behaviors or medical conditions.
It can lead to frustration on the part of the staff, which may result in abuse or neglect. The staff's lack of training may result in a resident's serious injury or wrongful death. Thus, nursing homes must ensure their staff is properly trained.
Poor communication between the nursing home staff and the residents' families can also lead to abuse or neglect. If the staff is not keeping the families updated on their loved ones' well-being, it can be difficult to catch signs of abuse or neglect.
Lack of Supervision
Supervision and proper administration are crucial for nursing homes since these are the places where elders spend their sunset years.
A supervisor should have a caring and friendly attitude towards the residents and must be able to understand their needs. They should also be able to provide the assistance they need to live a comfortable life.
But if the administrators are absent or don't care about what's happening at the facility, it can create an environment where abuse and neglect can flourish.
Negligent Hiring Practices
When the facility doesn't conduct a thorough background check on the staff members, it can lead to hiring people with a history of mistreatment or violence.
These individuals may vent their frustrations on the residents, leading to nursing home abuse and neglect.Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
There are many signs of elder abuse in nursing homes. Some may be more obvious, while others are behavioral, making them difficult to spot. If you notice these signs, you should suspect abuse:
- Bed sores and Pressure Ulcers: Sedentary elderly residents must be turned every two hours to prevent bed sores. Bed sores are open wounds that form when constant pressure cuts off circulation to an area of the body, most often the back, buttocks, or hips. Bed sores are painful and can lead to severe infections.
- Signs of Malnutrition: Weight loss, dehydration, and changes in eating habits can be signs of malnutrition. Malnutrition can lead to weakness, organ failure, and death.
- Changes in Personal Hygiene: Poor personal hygiene, such as an unkempt appearance or foul body odor, can be a sign of elder abuse. It is especially true if the nursing home staff is not providing proper care.
- Disturbed Sleeping Pattern: If a resident suffered abuse, they may have trouble sleeping. They may also have nightmares or suffer from insomnia.
- Anxiety or Depression: Abuse can cause anxiety and depression. The resident may seem more withdrawn than usual or have sudden mood swings.
- Unexplained Injuries: Bruises, cuts, welts, and burns can all be signs of elder abuse. Sometimes these injuries will have a pattern, such as bruises in the shape of a handprint.
- Changes in Behavior: Sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming more withdrawn or agitated, can be signs that your loved one has suffered abuse.
- Sexually-Transmitted Disease: If a nursing home resident is suffering from a sexually-transmitted disease, it could be a sign that they have been sexually abused.
If you notice these signs, you should suspect nursing home abuse and take action. Remove the resident from the facility immediately to protect them from any subsequent elder abuse.Resources for Elders in Assisted Living Facilities
Senior citizens in nursing homes often feel isolated and alone. Social interaction is crucial for their overall well-being, but it can be challenging to come by.
If you're looking for ways to help an elderly friend or family member, here are some nursing home resources that may be of use.
The National Institute on Aging provides information and resources on aging and health. Topics include:
- Alzheimer's and dementia
- Falling and injury prevention
- End-of-life care
- Physical activity
- Food and nutrition
- Staying independent, and more
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offer a wealth of resources for the elderly in nursing homes, families, and caregivers. You can find information on the quality of care, complaints and inspection reports, rehospitalizations, and much more.
The Administration for Community Living provides services and support to older adults and people with disabilities. They offer various resources on topics such as:
- Abuse Prevention
- Assistive Technology
- Caregiver support
- Community living
- Housing options, etc.
You can also check your state's local laws to learn more about nursing home neglect and laws surrounding abuse in nursing homes.What to do if You Notice Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
If you notice nursing home abuse, you must tell the authorities about it to ensure your loved one's well-being and protect other vulnerable residents. When you report abuse, ensure it contains all relevant information about the incident, such as:
- The extent of the abuse
- Whether it was physical or verbal abuse
- Witness accounts, etc
The nursing home authority will investigate the abuse report and take appropriate action. However, if your loved one has suffered physical or financial abuse that classifies as a crime, you should also contact the police so they can launch a criminal investigation.
The family of the nursing home abuse victim can also file a nursing home abuse claim against the facility as per the state and federal regulations. Abuse and neglect claims help ensure that the nursing home is held accountable for its actions.
You should get the legal services of an experienced attorney to ensure you get compensation for your loved one's injuries and medical bills. Get in touch to talk to a nursing home abuse attorney and receive a free case review.How Does an Albany Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Help?
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you should consult an Albany nursing home abuse lawyer to file a claim against the facility. A nursing home abuse case can be very complex.
An Albany nursing home abuse lawyer will know how to navigate the legal system to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Your Albany nursing home abuse lawyer will work with you to gather evidence to support your claim, including medical records, eyewitness testimony, and video footage. They will also file the necessary paperwork with the court and represent you at the trial.
Nursing home abuse cases, especially those of emotional or verbal abuse, can be tricky to prove in court. However, experienced nursing home abuse attorneys know how to build a strong case and get you the justice you deserve. A lawyer can also help you do the following:
Pursue Compensation for Personal Injury
Victims who file personal injury claims can also recover economic and non-economic damages. These include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Emotional distress
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to quantify your economic and non-economic damages so you can get the total amount of compensation you are entitled to receive. You may also get punitive damages, depending on how severe the injury or abuse was.
Punitive damages refer to a monetary award that is given to a plaintiff to punish the defendant for their wrongful or harmful actions.
These damages are typically only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, and are meant to serve as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to engage in similar behavior.
Understand the Legal Process
Every state has regulations and laws for nursing home abuse and neglect. However, most people don't know what to do if they experience elder abuse from their medical providers, other residents, or the staff in Albany nursing homes.
However, an Albany nursing home abuse lawyer will be familiar with the legal process and can help you understand your options. They can also keep you updated on any new developments in the case so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed.Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Resolve Your Compensation Claim
The affiliate New York personal injury attorneys at Albany Nursing Home Law Center LLC handle abuse and neglect cases. Our nursing home abuse lawyers have the knowledge, experience and track record of success needed to ensure your family will recover compensation for your damages in a nursing home abuse case.
We have worked on many nursing home abuse claims in past, winning justice for the victims in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Do you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect? Contact us today at (800) 926-7565 to schedule a free consultation with one of our award-winning Albany nursing home abuse attorneys to learn more about your rights and options. Get in touch to get a free case evaluation.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers accept all cases on contingency, meaning we will never accept attorneys’ fees unless we secure damages on your behalf through a negotiated settlement or jury award.