If you or a family member has suffered injury in a nursing home due to abuse or neglect, you should consult with the Tuscaloosa, Alabama nursing home neglect attorneys at Cross & Smith.
Nursing homes play a valuable role in our society, caring for those who are no longer able to provide complete care for themselves. Nursing homes generally offer different levels of treatment, and nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities usually have doctors on staff as well as nurses, physical therapists, and other workers performing a variety of services important to caring for our elderly. However, some nursing homes put profits over the well-being of the people they care for. When this happens, injuries can happen – sometimes due to acts of abuse, and often due to neglect of the patient.
Nursing home neglect can manifest itself in many forms. Often this is indifference to the health of the patient. As a result, the patient is not turned regularly, and painful bedsores are allowed to form. In other instances, patients are not properly attended to when transferring from a bed to standing position, or are not accompanied when walking to the bathroom. Serious falls can result, with broken bones and severe bruising present. Neglect can also be present in the way a patient’s medication is managed – some nursing facilities would rather medicate their patients into a stupor than treat them as human beings. Understaffing can be a cause of many problems in nursing homes, resulting in patients being undernourished, not receiving sufficient physical therapy, living in unsanitary conditions, and being kept in restraints simply because the patient cannot be properly overseen.
Abuse cases are more dramatic. Nursing home patients generally have very little capacity to defend themselves from abusive conduct. Yelling, threatening and coercive behavior can be abusive. Reports of physical abuse – such as hitting, slapping, and even sexual abuse – often surface around the nation. Some nursing homes perform minimal pre-hiring investigations of their employees and provide limited oversight of their workers.
Nursing homes are typically paid by the number of beds that are filled on a daily basis, creating an incentive not to provide quality care but to fill as many beds as possible. Medicaid pays the majority of nursing home expenses, with relatively little oversight of the quality of care. The Alabama Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators does license nursing facilities, investigate complaints, and conduct disciplinary proceedings, but many individual instances of mistreatment go uninvestigated.
Identifying nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult. It is hard to know whether depression or withdrawn behavior are the result of aging, or are caused by mistreatment – especially if a family member has difficulty communicating. Some amount of bruising may be expected with elderly patients, but it is difficult to know when the line of abuse or neglect has been crossed.
If you suspect that a family member has been abused or neglected, it is important to consult with an experienced Tuscaloosa nursing home abuse lawyer. At Cross & Smith, we understand the sensitive, disturbing nature of nursing home mistreatment in Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas, and we know the warning signs of abuse. Call our office today at (877) 791-0618 for a free confidential consultation.
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