Legal Help for Those Injured from Nursing Home Abuse
Nothing is more frightening than learning that your loved one has suffered an injury while at a nursing home. Hearing that they’ve been injured at the very place meant to keep them safe is a helpless feeling.
While we all know that accidents are sometimes unavoidable, nursing home injuries from abuse or neglect are far too common. If your loved one has suffered from a nursing home abuse injury, you may be able to take legal action.
If a loved one has suffered from a nursing home abuse injury, they or you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Contact Steve Watrel, P.A., today for a free consultation. Send us a message online or call at (904) 523-8610.
What Is a Nursing Home Abuse Injury?
A nursing home abuse injury is any physical harm to a nursing home resident that staff members could have prevented. This includes injuries resulting from physical abuse, neglect, and misconduct. Because of the fragility of older nursing home residents, these actions can have severe consequences for the victim.
Injuries could leave victims traumatized, permanently disabled, or could even lead to death. Knowing the common types of nursing home abuse injuries will help protect your loved ones and their rights.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse Injuries
Bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers, form when a nursing home resident lies in the same position for a prolonged period of time. The lack of movement prevents blood flow from reaching the skin and causes skin cells to die. If a bedsore goes untreated, the skin could break, and infection could form. This type of nursing home abuse injury can be very painful and dangerous to elderly residents.
Disabled residents are at a higher risk for developing bed sores because they cannot shift or reposition themselves without the help of a nursing home employee. The formation of a bedsore is easily preventable by nursing home employees, and the presence of one on your loved one could be a sign of a nursing home abuse injury by neglect.
Learn more about bed sores and their risks by reading our blog: "Nursing Home Residents Should Never Develop Bedsores"
Broken or Fractured Bones
Nursing home residents have a greater risk of breaking or fracturing bones because bone tissue becomes softer and more porous with age. While broken bones can occur by accident, they can also result from a nursing home abuse injury. Examples include:
- Lifting a patient into or out of their bed improperly
- Missing or ignoring the diagnosis of a bone disease like osteoporosis
- Failing to give residents proper devices for standing or walking
- Physical abuse, and more
Sustaining a broken or fractured bone injury can be detrimental to your loved one’s mobility and quality of life. If your loved one has suffered a broken bone or other nursing home abuse injuries, you should immediately inquire about what caused the injury. If it seems suspicious, you should seek advice from an attorney immediately.
Concussions are another common nursing home abuse injury. Concussions occur when the brain shifts during a fall or other form of head trauma. Most concussions sustained by a nursing home resident result from a preventable fall, constituting it as a nursing home abuse injury.
Nursing home employees have a responsibility to take extra measures to prevent residents from suffering a fall; failing to do this can result in a concussion. Unfortunately, concussions in nursing homes often go untreated because symptoms are mistaken or written off as dementia or other age-related ailments. Concussions can leave your loved one with confusion, neck and head pain, and mood swings.
Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury can devastate your loved one’s quality of life. Sustaining this type of injury could cause partial or total paralysis, life-threatening respiratory issues, loss of bowel control, and more. Most spinal cord injuries in nursing homes are a result of a fall.
Because of the high risk of falls in elderly individuals, nursing homes have to take extra measures to prevent them from happening. If they fail to do this and your loved one falls and sustains a spinal cord injury, it is a nursing home abuse injury because the fall could have been prevented.
Malnutrition & Medication Errors
A lack of proper hydration, nutrition, and medication dosing can cause life-threatening conditions for nursing home residents. Nursing home staff members are responsible for ensuring all residents get adequate nutrition and medication dosing according to their written plan of care. Failure to do this could result in dehydration, malnutrition, and serious illness.
Bedrails are rails attached to nursing home residents’ beds to prevent falls and provide extra support for patients so they can adjust themselves. When used the right way, bedrails can be helpful. However, bedrails can become dangerous when the nursing home staff fails to make sure that the correct size mattress is on the right size bed.
If a mattress that is too small is put on a bed with bed rails, a gap forms between the railing and the mattress. When this occurs, there is a risk that an elderly individual could become wedged in that gap and be too weak to get themselves out.
This could lead to asphyxiation or cardiac arrest. Bedrail injuries are preventable, yet the rate of these nursing home abuse injuries is rising due to nursing homes’ negligence.
Get Justice for Your Loved One
Nursing homes have a duty to protect and care for their residents. If the facility fails to do this, it must be held accountable. If your loved one has experienced any type of nursing home abuse injury, they may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, mental health treatment, physical therapy, moving costs, and justice for pain and suffering.
Steve Watrel is Jacksonville’s premiere nursing home abuse attorney. For over 30 years, he has been fighting for justice for sufferers of nursing home abuse and providing victims and family members compassionate care. You may be entitled to financial compensation if you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse.