legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Milwaukee Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing homes or assisted care facilities exist to provide our elderly loved ones with a haven where they receive adequate care. We trust the nursing home staff to protect our loved ones and assist with their physical, emotional, and medical needs.
However, this is often not the reality as budget cuts cause less staff to be employed for longer hours, resulting in nursing home residents suffering improper care, wrongful death, and nursing home abuse.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), a study of 2,000 nursing home residents found that 44 percent had been abused, and 95 percent had been neglected or had witnessed negligence. One in three nursing homes is cited for violations every year.
Was your loved one injured, mistreated, abused, or died unexpectedly from negligence while residing at a nursing home in Wisconsin? Your family has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit through one of our Wisconsin elder abuse attorneys.
Contact the affiliate Wisconsin, personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center (800-926-7565). Schedule a free consultation for a case evaluation, and let us discuss your legal options for obtaining monetary recovery through a lawsuit or compensation claim. Our Milwaukee nursing home abuse lawyers can also advise you should you have signed an arbitration agreement.Milwaukee Demographics
With a population of more than 599,000 residents, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is home to more than 53,000 senior citizens within the city limits and nearly twice that in all of Milwaukee County.
The number of elderly citizens reaching retirement age has risen significantly over the last few years, placing an enormous burden on many of the county's assisted living centers, nursing homes, and recreational centers.
Understaffing and overcrowding in these facilities have resulted in serious safety concerns, opened investigations, and filed complaints involving negligence and abuse.
Medicare releases monthly information on all assisted care facilities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, based on the data gathered through surveys, investigations, and inspections. The federal database reveals that investigators found severe deficiencies and violations at twenty-seven (50%) of the fifty-four Milwaukee nursing facilities that led to harm.Wisconsin Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
- Over 3 million Americans reside in assisted living facilities, and more than 900,000 live in nursing home settings. Of those individuals, two out of three are female. The majority are 65 years of age or older.
- According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), a nursing home is a facility that provides 24-hour nursing services and room and board to five or more unrelated individuals.
- On average, assisted care and long-term care facilities charge anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 per year per elderly person.
- In just Wisconsin, 3,500 suspected cases of negligence or nursing home abuse are reported every year.
- Nationally, for every case of elder neglect, exploitation, and abuse that is reported, five go unreported.
- The majority of assisted care facilities in the country are understaffed.
- 46 percent of facility nurses claim to have missed changes in a resident’s condition because of excessive workload and fatigue.
The NCEA estimate that by 2050, the number of individuals in the oldest age group, 65 and older, will double to approximately 18 million.Common Types of Elder Abuse or Negligence in Milwaukee Nursing Homes
Wisconsin State Statute 46.90 federal regulations define elder abuse as the failure of a caregiver to secure or maintain adequate care, services, or supervision for an individual age 60 or older.
The difference between abuse and neglect is:
- Abuse: "To intentionally cause physical or mental harm to a resident, such as injuring, confining, intimidating, punishing, or denying care to the patient."
- Neglect: "To intentionally or unintentionally fail to provide appropriate care and services to prevent harm, pain, or anxiety."
Under Wisconsin law, there are five main types of elder abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, negligence, and financial abuse or exploitation.
A Milwaukee nursing home abuse lawyer from our law firm is available to listen to your case and offer sound legal advice regarding the nursing home abuse of your elderly loved one. We have compiled a list of the most common forms of elder abuse in a nursing home.Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is the most common type of mistreatment in long-term care facilities, accounting for 29 percent of all reported cases. This type of mistreatment occurs when a caregiver intentionally harms a resident. A staff member may strike, push or shove residents forcefully. Another form of physical abuse is withholding medication or overmedicating a resident.
Proving this mistreatment is not difficult as the evidence will be clearly shown on their body or present in their bloodwork. Photographic evidence taken of all the physical abuse is a strong supporter of the personal injury lawsuit of a loved one.
Physical abuse can include broken bones, bruises, lacerations, cuts, and head and neck injuries.Psychological or Emotional abuse
Psychological or emotional abuse can occur in several ways and is more difficult to prove. However, its outcome remains equally destructive and traumatic for the resident. Approximately 21 percent of reported elder abuse cases in a nursing home are related to psychological or emotional abuse.
Staff members may humiliate or ridicule residents, scare them, or even forcefully ignore or isolate them to the point of causing emotional distress.Resident-to-Resident Abuse
Despite this type of mistreatment not being well known and ill-researched, it accounts for 22 percent of reported nursing home abuse cases. Residents may vent towards each other, especially if they have a mental condition with increased anger and hallucinations.
Deciding who is the abuser and victim is not always clear-cut with this form of mistreatment. Still, staff members should always look out for vulnerable residents and be aware of situations conducive to resident-to-resident abuse.Gross Negligence
When a nursing home resident is neglected, they are given substandard care, and their basic needs are withheld, including food, clothing, and medical care. Failing to provide a safe environment for an elderly person where residents suffer physically and mentally is also seen as gross negligence.
Nursing home neglect accounts for 14 percent of the reported cases.Financial Exploitation or Financial Abuse
Financial exploitation or financial abuse accounts for 7 percent of all reported mistreatment cases in a nursing home setting.
Nursing home staff could exploit the poor eyesight, loss of memory, or wavering mental state of an elderly person to steal personal information, bank account information, and their bank accounts or personal property.Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to discuss, but it needs to be addressed. Although sexual abuse accounts for 7 percent of nursing home abuse reports, it is more than likely that most sexual abuse incidents are never reported due to shame or fear.Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse or Nursing Home Neglect
When you have an elderly loved one in a Milwaukee or Wisconsin nursing home or assisted living facility, you know that their safety can not be guaranteed. You are not constantly with them to look out for them; therefore, it is vital to look for the warning signs of nursing home abuse every time you visit.
They rely on you, their family member, to protect them. Here are some of the most common signs of elder abuse broken down by the type of mistreatment.Physical Abuse
The physical signs of trauma are typically easily identifiable. You may notice unexplained broken bones or sprains, bruising, scarring or welts, broken glasses, or signs of restraints on wrists or ankles.Psychological Abuse
Signs of emotional trauma include sudden mood changes, noticeable signs of fear, emotional outbursts, or a tendency to be withdrawn and quiet when certain staff members are present. They may also exhibit unusual behavior like mumbling, rocking, or thumb-sucking.Financial Abuse
If you notice significant, unexplained changes in your loved one’s bank accounts, life insurance policies, or will, they may be victims of financial exploitation.Sexual Abuse
When a nursing home resident has suffered from sexual abuse, they may have an unexplained sexually transmitted disease, bruising, or torn undergarments. They are also likely to be withdrawn.
Individuals who have suffered mistreatment or neglect may appear withdrawn and have little interest in the activities they previously enjoyed. You may notice changes in eating habits, as well as weight loss. They may be vague about their treatment and shy away from specific caregivers.
Nursing home abuse can come in many forms, but in addition to the signs listed above, a victim of abuse or neglect may be suffering from the following:
- Unclean and unsanitary conditions
- Poor hygiene or health
The Milwaukee nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC understand how challenging it is for family members to research nursing facilities in their community before placing a loved one in the hands of skilled care providers. To help, we publish publicly available information to assist families in making a significantly more informed decision about which facilities provide the best care in the Milwaukee area.Signs of Elder Neglect or Abuse
Most friends and family members do not recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse or take them seriously when first noticed. Sometimes, mistreatment and neglect display themselves as dementia or frailty.
Other times, the medical team in charge of providing care explains away more noticeable signs by saying it is a natural deterioration or just the signs of aging. However, there are specific general signs of neglect and mistreatment that need to be taken seriously and acted upon immediately to protect the victim.
Common signs of abuse showing a loved one's injuries involve:
- A change in behavior or personality of the elderly loved one
- Unexplained emotional outbursts
- Tense situations or frequent arguments between the elderly resident and their caregiver
- Unexplained injury, including a wound, bruise, scar, or burn, especially when displayed symmetrically on opposite sides of the body.
- Drowsiness or fatigue caused by overmedication
- Broken or damaged eyeglasses
- Refusal by the caregiver to allow family and friends to see the elderly resident alone
- Signs of restraint such as rope marks or strap marks on the wrists of a loved one
- Unexplained genital infections or venereal disease
- Lack of privacy to make phone calls or visit with family and friends
- Unexplained anal or vaginal bleeding
- Blood, stained, or torn underclothing
- Bruised genitals or breasts
- Hazardous living conditions
- Loved one left unattended in an unbathed or dirty condition
- Facility-acquired bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Sudden weight loss
If you suspect your loved one has been neglected or abused while residing in a Milwaukee area nursing facility, you must advocate for them and take immediate legal action.
Use our free consultation offer and contact a Milwaukee nursing home abuse lawyer at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC. Allow us, as trial lawyers, to hold every individual legally and financially accountable for the nursing home abuse they inflicted.Contingency “No Win, No Fee” Guarantee
Call a Milwaukee nursing home abuse lawyer toll-free today at (800) 926-7565 or fill out a contact form for a free initial consultation and free case evaluation. We accept nursing home abuse and neglect cases on a contingency fee basis.
Our "No-Win/No Fee Guarantee" ensures you will owe us nothing if we cannot successfully resolve your nursing home abuse lawsuit. We will investigate your case, advise you on steps to take should you have signed an arbitration agreement, and file your personal injury claim.
All discussions in your free consultation with our nursing home abuse lawyers will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.Resources