Nursing Home Abuse in West Virginia
When we put our loved ones in the care of a nursing home, we fully expect they will receive the care and respect they need and deserve. Tragically, a look into the data of nursing home malpractice is sobering:
- In 2000, one study interviewing 2,000 nursing home residents reported that 44 percent said they had been abused and 95 percent said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected.
- A May 2008 study conducted by the U.S. General Accountability Office revealed that state surveys understate problems in licensed facilities: 70 percent of state surveys miss at least one deficiency and 15 percent of surveys miss actual harm and immediate jeopardy of a nursing home resident.*
The National Center on Elder Abuse says the situation poses serious difficulties because “We simply do not know for certain how many people are suffering from elder abuse and neglect.”
This is not the type of situation anyone expects to find a family member in when they’ve made the difficult choice of putting a loved one in a nursing home facility or another type of long-term care facility.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
When choosing a nursing home in West Virginia, it’s just as important to look for red flags as it is to look for positive attributes that you want in the nursing home. Signs of abuse might not be extremely obvious, especially when a smiling director is giving you a tour of the facility, but you may see signs from the people who are already there. You should also be sure to watch for these signs of mistreatment when you visit your own family member in a care facility.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the following:
Sadly, some nursing homes have a history of violent incidents against residents. As unbelievable as it may sound, some nursing home residents actually suffer physical abuse at the hands of the very people who are supposed to be helping to improve their quality of life.
Some staff members also become somewhat numb. They forget that they are dealing with real people. They get so used to just doing their job, they do it as if they were dealing with life-sized dolls rather than human beings and don’t use the care that they should.
These kinds of incidents are tracked and reported, and you can get some of this information on Medicare.gov.
It’s shameful what it says about some parts of our society, but some nursing home staff will use mental abuse as a way of breaking up the boredom of their work from day to day. Especially if a resident isn’t at their full mental capacity, some staff will threaten them, or promise them things only to deny them later. There are plenty of ways to mentally abuse someone and, unfortunately, this goes on at some nursing homes, too.
It ties in somewhat with mental abuse, but some nursing home residents also find themselves emotionally abused. They might be falsely told that family has canceled a visit or restricted from spending time with friends. Sadly, there are people out there who will do things just to see if they can make someone else scared or make them cry.
Many things other than violence count as violations, such as incidents where residents are accidentally allowed to leave the property unsupervised. While just one violation may not be that big of a deal, repeated violations could show that the home is unsafe.
High Turnover Rates
The best nursing homes often have employees who stay for years. High turnover rates can mean the staff is not as well trained or as well prepared, or it could mean that the home is a bad working – and living – environment. This can lead to things likes nursing home neglect.
Residents do need help and supervision, but they also have to have some independence. If they’re not given any freedom at all, it can feel more like a jail than an assisted living home. In some cases, residents have even been found in physical restraints because the staff just didn’t feel like checking in to make sure they hadn’t wandered somewhere.
In the end, always remember to trust your gut. If the place rubs you the wrong way and you feel uneasy for any reason, it’s probably a good reason. Don’t be afraid to look at many homes to find one where you feel your elderly loved ones will be happy and safe.
If you do have issues with the home or think elder abuse or any type of nursing home negligence is happening, though, you need to know what legal options you have. Contact our attorneys today to help.
There have been cases of nursing home staff threatening residents, almost like a mafia thug might threaten a shopkeeper for payments. They will demand that the resident pays them a certain amount of weekly or monthly threatening things like losing privileges or having food withheld if they don’t pay.
Sexual Abuse Of Nursing Home Residents
Placing a loved one in a nursing home is a decision that isn’t taken lightly. Anyone who makes that difficult choice is counting on the nursing home to properly care for their loved one. Sadly, that good care they are expecting doesn’t always come. In some cases, nursing home residents are subjected to sexual abuse.
The horrors of sexual abuse of the elderly aren’t anything that people like to think about. For people who have loved ones in a nursing home, watching out for symptoms of this abuse is vital because no nursing home resident should have to deal with sexual abuse. Instead, the resident should be able to live one’s remaining days in peace.
The signs of sexual abuse in nursing home residents vary greatly. You might notice that your loved one has injuries or bruises. You may notice that he or she just doesn’t seem to be acting in a normal manner. Difficulty sitting, difficulty walking, and pain are some other signs that your loved one has been sexually abused.
In some cases, the diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease is the clue that your loved one was sexually abused. This might occur in conjunction with anal or genital irritation, bruising, or bleeding.
When your loved one is the victim of the atrocity known as sexual abuse, you should take steps to prevent further sexual abuse. You might also decide to explore the possibility of seeking compensation. While compensation won’t take away the pain of being sexually abused, it might help your loved one to get the care he or she needs to heal after the abuse.
Warning Signs Of Abuse At An Assisted Living Facility
It’s hard to say that there is one specific sign for any particular type of abuse, but there are things to look for that will help you understand the state of well-being of your loved one. You should watch for signs of abuse such as:
- Bedsores, pressure sores (also known as pressure ulcers)
- Broken bones
- Poor hygiene
- Weight loss
- Sudden behavioral changes
- Sudden changes in the emotional state
A lot of South Carolina nursing home abuse happens simply because people think they can scare an elderly person into not telling anyone what is going on. It’s just like the bully in the schoolyard picking on the little kid and threatening to hurt him worse if he tells his parents.
As Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys We Can Help
If a loved one has been injured in a nursing home, the situation can be confusing and immensely emotional. When the injury was sustained due to malpractice or abuse, the feeling of betrayal accompanies these already overwhelming emotions making the situation all the more difficult.
Because our team at Johnstone & Gabhart, LLP, has more than 50 years of combined experience working on complex personal injury and medical malpractice cases, there is no nursing home injury case for which we are not prepared. We are committed to bringing an end to Charleston nursing home abuse and making sure that our elders get the care they deserve.
While we understand that there is nothing we can do to take back an elder abuse injury, we are a law firm committed to obtaining justice and compensation our clients deserve while bolstering accountability among eldercare facilities.
To get in touch and schedule a free consultation with our Charleston nursing home injury lawyers, call 877-416-5457 or contact us online anytime. We’ll be happy to go over the details of your case, give you an honest case review, discuss any legal action that can be taken, and give you our best legal advice about how to move forward.
We have also compiled a great list of resources for the Charleston elderly community. You can check it out here.