The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is never easy. You put your trust in the physicians, nurses and staff to care for and treat your loved one with the dignity they deserve in their final years. As a result, finding out that your loved one was abused in a nursing home can be devastating. Unfortunately, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, it is all too common. Almost 2 million elderly over the age of 65 are abused, mistreated, or injured by someone they depend on for care and the vast majority of cases are never reported.
Nursing homes have a responsibility to perform background checks on all their employees. Unfortunately, staffing shortages and budget constraints often hasten these checks and allow potentially dangerous and dishonest people to become caregivers. This increases the risk for theft, sexual abuse and assault and can put your loved one in danger.
The elderly are unfortunately easy targets for mental, physical, medical and even financial abuse, because of their dependence. Nursing home abuse can take many forms, but the most common ones are:
- Unjustified or overuse of restraints
- Unsanitary Conditions
- Insufficient pain management
- Untreated medical conditions
- Poor personal hygiene
- Failure to invest patient’s money properly
- Inappropriate bill charges
- Stealing money or property
- Verbal abuse or humiliation
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
If you suspect that your loved one has been abused in a nursing home you will need to report your suspicions to the facility’s administrator and the Colorado Nursing Home Administrators Board . If your loved was was injured or abused in a nursing home, your should contact a Colorado nursing home abuse attorney immediately. Your attorney will need to work with board certified nursing home experts to carefully determine if you have cause to file a claim. This nursing home expert must certify that your loved one received substandard care while in the nursing home. In addition, your nursing home abuse attorney will need to review your case meticulously and interview nursing home physicians and staff to determine who the responsible parties are.
There are several legal options available for abused elderly victims, including civil action, breech of contract and in some cases even criminal liability. Your Colorado Littleton attorney will be able to guide you through the legal process and determine which claims should be filed. In cases of nursing home abuse, victims and their families may be compensated for past, present and future medical expenses, loss of quality of life, emotional distress and pain and suffering.