legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 represent injured patients harmed through mistreatment.
We provide free initial consultations to discuss compensation claims for victims and surviving family members.
Even the horrific instances of nursing home abuse becoming more well-known to the public have not stopped nursing homes from engaging in harmful behavior. They might do so because few lawsuits have been filed against that facility to hold it accountable for its atrocious behavior.
No one seems to have the power to enact change in the nursing home care systems except for licensed lawyers.
According to Medicare, there are 226 nursing facilities rated in Maryland state surveys and inspection data. The federal agency revealed sixty-five (twenty-nine percent) of statewide nursing centers are rated below the national average after severe violations and deficiencies were identified by investigators.
A Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Did someone you love die prematurely or suffered injuries through nursing home negligence, abuse, or mistreatment while residing in one of the Maryland nursing homes? Contact the Maryland personal injury attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center today to discuss how you can receive financial compensation.
We offer every potential client a free case review to evaluate the merits of their claim.
Baltimore, Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers commit to supporting loved ones who have been forced to deal with abuse and neglect affecting a loved one. The development of pressure wounds, noticeable cuts or abrasions, and anxiety issues are all results that can happen when one is abused.
Families need to speak with attorneys when they are concerned that an elderly loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect.
With over sixty-eight percent of Baltimore nursing centers receiving deficiency ratings in the quality of care provided to a resident, it is time for every family member to receive the legal help they need to deal with Maryland nursing home abuse and neglect.
Major corporations owned most nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout the United States, including in Maryland. Unfortunately, these organizations tend to place profits ahead of the well-being of their residents.
Nursing homes provide a residential environment for individuals who require extensive care, below emergent hospital care, and cannot receive treatment at home. A nursing home facility typically employs skilled registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nursing aides around-the-clock.
In many ways, a nursing home is designed much like a hospital where the nurses and nursing aides provide the nursing home resident medical care, hygiene assistance, medicine administration, and physical, occupational, and speech therapies.
Individuals that qualify for nursing home care include those who require:
- Rehabilitative or skilled nursing services
- Ongoing supervision
- Assistance with grooming, dressing, bathing, or other activity of daily living
- Assisted management of their daily health care requirements
- Assisted management of their medication administration
Assisted Living Centers
Residents living in assisted living centers are typically healthier and less vulnerable than patients in a nursing home facility. These residents are less likely to be injured by a fall, medical condition, or assault.
Many individuals choose to relocate into an assisted-living center as they age to enjoy minimal assistance while maintaining their independence. Nearly all facility residents wished to remain in their home but recognize the need for assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs).
Assisted living communities provide active residential settings for senior citizens who require a high level of support. Usually, a resident can expect to receive help with grooming, dressing, and toileting. Other services include:
- Daily meals
- Transportation services
- Laundry services
- A social activities and programs
- 24-hour staffing to assist with support, care, and safety
Assisted-living homes do not provide the same services as a skilled nursing facility (SNF), where a nursing home managed by a trained, skilled medical nursing team provides full-time care
Many states, including Maryland, offer group home options. Typically, group homes have a small number of elderly adults or minor children of every age living in the residential dwelling who require complex health assistance.
Unfortunately, many group home residents are subject to much of the same types of nursing home abuse as elderly, vulnerable senior citizens, young adults, adolescents, and children.
Compared to a nursing home, a group home is a minimally restrictive environment that provides integrative services to individuals with disabilities. Group homes are designed to provide a typical family life environment that reduces stigma and improves daily living experiences.
Pressure Ulcers and Bedsores
Pressure ulcers (bedsores, pressure wounds, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers) can quickly develop on the skin of individuals with limited mobility.
A pressure ulcer is often the result of nursing home resident neglect when staff members fail to readjust the patient's position in a chair or bed every ninety minutes to two hours.
Other patients developed bedsores when the nursing staff does not provide regular hygiene assistance or fails to properly hydrate or feed the resident under their care.
The federal government determined that pressure ulcers should never occur in a nursing home. According to 42 CFR 483.25 (b)(ii):
"(i) A resident receives care, consistent with professional standards of practice, to prevent pressure ulcers and does not develop pressure ulcers unless the individual's clinical condition demonstrates that they were unavoidable; and
(ii) A resident with pressure ulcers receives necessary treatment and services, consistent with professional standards of practice, to promote healing, prevent infection and prevent new ulcers from developing."
Medication Errors and Chemical Restraints
Medication mistakes are often caused by the nursing staff's failure to follow doctor's orders, the drug manufacturer's instructions, or acceptable standards of care when administering medicine.
Many patients are given psychotropic medications (tranquilizers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and antipsychotics) without proper authority set forth through national regulations.
Medical errors are often the result of poorly trained nursing staff or overworked employees.
Physical Abuse by Staff Members and Other Residents
Many Maryland nursing home abuse cases are caused by intentional physical assault by medical staff or other residents. Sadly, incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect are more prevalent than ever before.
State and federal laws enacted to prevent nursing home abuse or neglect have not stopped mistreatment nationwide. Often, the nursing home administration fails to use established hiring practices properly or fails to train the nursing team adequately.
In some cases, an inadequately supervised staff will resort to negligence, physical force, abuse, or sexual assault to punish or control residents.
Nursing Home Fall Injuries
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), approximately 1800 elderly senior citizens die every year from nursing home falls in the United States.
Many of these cases could have been prevented had the nursing staff followed the established protocols to protect the victim during transfers from the bed to a wheelchair.
Many other nursing home residents survive the severe consequences of falling and sustaining a head injury or hip fracture that causes permanent disability. In many cases, their lives are altered forever through neglect, medical malpractice, or other forms of abuse and neglect that diminish the quality of their well-being.
According to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, a severe fall in a nursing home creates life-threatening consequences, especially for the frail and old. Any personal injury related to a fall can immediately decrease the resident's quality of life and their capacity to maintain their Activities of Daily Living without assistance.
Even a fall in a nursing facility without an injury creates problems for residents who develop fear and anxiety over falling. The mental challenges create self-imposed limitations and participation in activities.
Many Maryland nursing home caregivers also suffer consequences when the residents under their care fall due to a lack of supervision or proper management. Staff members often face an increased amount of paperwork. The nursing home pays higher insurance premiums, faces lawsuits, and the consequences of Medicare inspectors' substandard survey rankings.
Hip Fractures and Broken Bones
Fractured bones and broken hips can be life-altering injuries to the elderly when the resident struggles to heal appropriately while in a long-term care facility. As humans age, their bones grow weak and fragile, or even a minor fall to the floor could create a severe health problem if loved ones suffer from an arm, hip, knee, pelvis, or other bone fractures.
Broken bones are often the result of neglect or carelessness of Maryland nursing home staff who do not provide sufficient attention and supervision to residents under their care.
Septic Shock and Sepsis
Some nursing home residents developed bacterial infections, septic shock, or life-threatening sepsis in the bloodstream. Typically, sepsis is the result of a severe infection somewhere else in the body.
Many nursing home residents are highly susceptible to developing septic shock or sepsis when their immune systems weaken during the later years of their life.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), sepsis can develop quickly as an extreme response to infection. Without immediate intervention, sepsis can trigger a deadly chain reaction that causes extensive organ failure, tissue damage, and death.
Many senior citizens will develop sepsis in the gastrointestinal tract, on the skin, in the lungs, or as a urinary tract infection. Fortunately, sepsis is not contagious and, harming others nearby.
In a Maryland nursing home, sepsis can develop due to other viral infections, including influenza and Covid-19 (coronavirus). Those most at risk include:
- Adults sixty-five years and older
- Individuals with weakened immune systems
- Individuals one year or younger
- Sepsis survivors
- Nursing home residents with chronic medical conditions including kidney disease, cancer, lung disease, and diabetes
Common signs and symptoms associated with sepsis include low blood pressure, elevated heart rate, shivering, fever, feeling cold, disorientation, confusion, shortness of breath, sweaty or claiming skin, and extreme discomfort or pain.
Nursing Home Abuse Laws
The state's senior home abuse laws are in place to protect nursing home residents' legal rights. The governing sources of authority can be found in the Adult Protective Services Act, Institutional Abuse Act, Long Term Care Act, and the Nursing Homes Act.
All pieces of legislation have been developed to provide widespread protections for nursing home residents. Nursing home residents are susceptible to being victims of financial exploitation in nursing centers and long-term care homes.
Many nursing facilities seek to take unauthorized funds from nursing home residents considering a struggling economy. Specific laws like the Elder Justice Act of 2009 provide a procedure for dealing with abuse and financial exploitation issues.
Any suspicion of elder abuse in Maryland nursing homes must be reported. Owners of nursing home facilities must notify the government of a plan to transfer the resident. This Act now empowers every family member to take elderly loved ones out of bad situations in care facilities and receive the help they need.
Know the Legal Rights of Your Loved One
Every resident has certain rights subscribed under federal law in a nursing home. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 is a significant piece of legislation that has a list of residents' rights.
Residents have the right to be free of abuse, mistreatment, and neglect. Nursing home residents also have other rights, including the right to:
- Be free from physical restraints, physical abuse, and sexual abuse
- Have medical accommodations
- Participate in social groups
- Be treated with dignity
- Review one's care plan
- Be made aware of changes in a nursing home program or care plan
Every family member should pay close attention if their loved one complains of abuse or other situations that violate their rights and file a report, citing abuse or neglect.
If you are unsure of what to do after someone you love has complained about abuse, then get in touch with a Baltimore nursing home abuse lawyer today. A Maryland nursing home abuse lawyer can carefully consider any allegations of elder abuse and determine an appropriate way to proceed.
Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys will be able to help you handle this overwhelming situation.
Nursing Home Abuse Personal Injury FAQs
What Is Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse?
According to the National Institutes of Health, abuse and neglect in MD nursing homes are common occurrences when the nursing staff fails to meet the resident's basic standard of care. In many incidents, the mistreatment results from poorly trained nurses and nursing assistants who are overworked and stressed, making them unable to provide the care necessary to ensure the patient's happiness and health.
While negligence is often accidental, some intentional acts cause direct harm to the senior citizen. Abusive cases might involve physical assault, sexual abuse, failing to provide adequate care, or deprive the elderly of necessities, including shelter, food, and fluids.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), not all negligence cases involving senior citizens are evident. Many cases are reported through eyewitness testimony.
The most common abuse and neglect victims in nursing centers are residents with mental impairments like Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Others are physically impaired through a medical condition or disability.
The typical indicators of nursing home abuse and negligence include:
- Facility-acquired pressure ulcers
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Hygiene issues associated with a lack of care
- Burns, including self-inflicted burns
- Medical malpractice
- Illegal use of physical or medical (chemical) restraints
- Bruising, skin tears, lacerations, cuts, fractures, broken bones, welts, or other unexplained injuries
- Improperly administered or prescribed medications at the wrong dosage, the wrong time, or to the wrong patient
How Can Neglect Be Prevented?
The staff in nursing homes must follow established protocols and procedures to minimize accidental negligence. Preventing injury often requires thoughtful planning, forethought, and providing care.
The facility administration of MD nursing homes should:
- Ensure that the facility is adequately staffed
- Ensure that all staff is adequately trained to provide unique care that meets the needs of every individual
- Implement highly effective staff vetting before employment, including background checks and previous training
- Ensure that every staff member and resident receive elder abuse education
- Develop, implement, and enforce reporting procedures that quickly identify severe concerns of neglect and abuse
- Take every complaint seriously, ensuring that steps to resolve grievances occur quickly
What Should I Watch Out For in a MD Nursing Home?
Are you about to admit someone you love into a nursing facility and wonder if you are the best advocate to protect their rights? Finding a high-quality facility could be challenging.
However, there are specific steps you can take to find the best place by narrowing your search. Consider visiting online government sites like Medicare to receive recently updated data on surveys, violations, citations, and monetary penalties.
Every nursing facility is listed on its website to be used as a comparative tool. Also, look close to home and conduct an in-person visit to see how well all the residents are groomed, fed, and assisted.
How Do You Report Nursing Home Abuse Cases?
Federal and state agencies, including Medicare and Adult Protective Services, accept submitted reports involving neglect and abuse in nursing facilities. Medicare requires staff members supervising those who caused the mistreatment to report the problem in its initial stage.
You might report to the supervisor, social worker, Administrator, Director of Nursing, or doctor. Afterward, consider filing a formal complaint with the Maryland survey agency, Maryland licensure office, protection, advocacy networks, Maryland ombudsman program, and Medicaid fraud control unit.
Stand Firm with Help and Support from Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
In a time of chaos, it can be challenging to know the right step to take. If you notice any signs of abuse involving your loved one, take the first step now to open a personal injury case.
Having a nursing home abuse attorney on your side will help you feel empowered as you deal with nursing home administrators and other workers who might not wish to share information with you.
Please speak with one of our personal injury lawyers today to receive the help that you need.
Nursing home abuse or neglect lawyers are here to support you and deal with neglect throughout the State of Maryland and Virginia, including:
- Anne Arundel County
- Baltimore, MD
- Ellicott City
- Fairfax County
- Glen Burnie
- Montgomery County
- Prince George's County
- Silver Spring
- Washington, DC
You have the right to stand up for your loved one to ensure that they receive treatment following the law and elder care regulations. Nursing home staff members must ensure every patient's well being free from personal injury, neglect, abuse, pressure sores, malnutrition (unexplained weight loss), dehydration, and sexual abuse.
Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Serving Victims of Skin Breakdown, Pressure Wounds & Decubitus Ulcers
A pressure sore could develop or worsen when the patient is immobile and unable to reposition their body independently. The immobility increases pressure on body parts to restrict blood flow, causing damage to the skin.
As a result, many patients in nursing homes require routinely turning or readjusting by staff members to minimize the amount of pressure on their skin.
Most skin breakdown sores acquired during nursing homes or hospital admission are due to the nursing staff's improper care. Was your loved one a victim of a degrading pressure ulcer? The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC is committed to holding facilities accountable.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers invite you to contact our Maryland pressure wound attorneys for a free review of your case during a free consultation. Call us for a free consultation at (800) 926-7565 to discuss your abuse neglect case.
A pressure wound (decubitus ulcer; pressure sore; pressure ulcer) is usually avoidable if the patient is provided routine movement and quality nutrition.
Any developing skin sore in its initial stage can be reversed within a few days with appropriate treatment. However, it can quickly turn into a severe open wound susceptible to life-threatening infection if left unattended.