Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Kansas City
Your elderly loved one deserves to spend their twilight years in dignity and comfort. If they are unable to care for themselves and you cannot do an adequate job of looking after them, having them enter into a nursing home is the best option. It is right for you to trust the professionals at the nursing home to look after the needs of your loved one and to treat them with kindness and respect. To discover that just the opposite is taking place in the nursing home—that your parents or grandparents are being abused, neglected, and exploited—should anger and alarm you. It is the ultimate betrayal. And the best response to such a situation is to hire a nursing home abuse attorney in Kansas City and build a case against the institution.
What is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing home abuse consists of any action that leads to material harm to a patient. It can come in the form of physical abuse, psychological, sexual, or financial abuse. It can also come in the form of neglect, isolation, and abandonment.
When someone enters a nursing home, they come under the care of the professionals in it. However, they do not give up their rights to live as free human beings. When in a nursing home, your elderly loved one retains the right to manage their financial affairs, receive information about their treatment, refuse treatment and medication, choose their own physician, wear their own clothes, and retain personal possessions. Any infringement of these rights constitutes personal abuse and should not be tolerated.
Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse comes in many different forms. These are some of the many that you should look out for:
1. Physical abuse
The ability to live in a residence safe, secure, and completely free from harm is a bedrock principle of all nursing home care. Unprofessional and malicious conduct on the part of nursing home staff can cause your loved one physical pain. Physical abuse may include:
- Inappropriate sexual touching
- Use of unauthorized restrains
- Forced administration of medication or treatment
The nursing home staff is legally responsible for each of the residents in their care. They must provide adequate food and any necessary medication and medical treatment. If they fail in these responsibilities, your loved one will suffer. Here are some examples of neglect:
- Failure to provide proper meals regularly
- Withholding medical care
- Failure to give residents opportunities for exercise
- Failure to look after mental health
If your loved one is compelled to leave their home and community, they will need to make new friends and connections in their new place of residence. Nursing home officials must not only allow this, but they should also encourage it. Any attempt to isolate residents in the nursing home or cut them off from family and friends outside of it is illegal. Nursing home staff cannot withhold correspondence or prevent residents from making phone calls or receiving visitors.
4. Emotional abuse
Your loved ones should be treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. They are elderly people; they have earned the right to be treated with dignity. No one has the right to yell at, chastise, threaten, or otherwise demean or degrade your loved one. They have a right to remain free of emotional and psychological abuse in the nursing home.
5. Financial abuse
This is becoming more and more of a problem in nursing homes. In fact, many career criminals attempt to join the ranks of nursing home staff so that they will have direct access to vulnerable older people whom they can con and swindle. Nursing homes must take stringent measures to protect their residents against such people.
Examples of financial abuse include:
- Using a patient’s credit or debit card
- Withdrawing money from a resident’s account
- Pressuring a resident to sign over checks
- Stealing cash directly from a resident’s person
Indications of Nursing Home Abuse
Your elderly loved one is unlikely to tell you straight out that they are being abused and exploited. Old people are proud and can be cagey about such matters. You have looked up to them and been under their care and supervision for most of your life. Now the roles are reversed; it is you who has to look after them. This can be hard for your parents or grandparents to get used to. They will not want to seem weak in your eyes and thus they will keep any abuse they have received to themselves. There is also the fact that such an event is embarrassing.
You must therefore be vigilant for signs that things are not as they should be. Some of the indications that your relative is being abused include:
- Bruising and broken bones
- Unexpected weight loss
- Large and sudden withdraws from their account
Liability for Nursing Home Abuse
The nursing home you put your loved one in is responsible for their safety and welfare. This is the bottom line. If your loved one is harmed in any way, the nursing home must be held accountable. Even if your elderly loved one suffers a fall or bumps into a stationary object that injures them, the nursing home can still be held liable. Measures must be taken to make the residence safe for elderly people, who will have diminished capacities, to live.
If you have evidence or indications that your loved one is suffering abuse or exploitation at the hands of the staff, then you should contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Kansas City. Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate the matter and get to the bottom of it.
If there is enough evidence of wrongdoing, the nursing home abuse attorney Kansas City you hired will advise you to launch a lawsuit, the defendants in such a lawsuit may include nursing home doctors and nurses, the administration of the facility, personal caretakers, government agencies responsible for regulation, and even people who knew about and witnessed the abuse and did not report it.
Determine the Damages
Nursing home abuse can do long-term physical and mental harm to your loved one. You have the right to demand compensation from the nursing home. You can recover damages for medical expenses, rest and recovery, seeking admission to a new home, emotional strain, and pain and suffering.
How A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help You
Nursing homes are owned by people who are out to make money. The last thing they want is an abuse scandal that can ruin the reputation of their facility and deter people from using it. For this reason, they will put up a fight. If your loved one is being abused, neglected, or exploited in a nursing home, you must hire an attorney to gather the evidence that will prove it.
Personal injury lawyers who specialize in this field know how to carry out such investigations. They are familiar with the tactics of nursing homes to block inquiries and avoid accountability, and they know how to get around them. In addition to the direct physical evidence of abuse, your lawyer will interview other residents and staff. They will subpoena documents and depose the people who cared for your loved one. Hiring a lawyer will help you get justice. Contact our office for a free consultation.