Nursing homes are a vital resource, providing elderly people with the care they need and deserve in their later years.
Of course sometimes things can go wrong, and the families of nursing home residents might have cause to complain about the way their vulnerable relatives have been treated in this type of facility.
This is where a nursing home lawyer can help, so let’s look at a few of the scenarios in which you might consider hiring one yourself.
When signs of neglect are obvious
When we are less able to look after ourselves in old age, nursing homes should step in and take responsibility for basic care, covering everything from food and drink to personal hygiene.
If a care facility falls short consistently, this can be considered a kind of neglect, which in turn means that the home’s management and its employees are not fulfilling their primary role.
Such neglect may be most obvious if things like body odor, unclean clothes and unsanitary living conditions are apparent when you visit.
Working with a local attorney who has expertise in this field, whether that be a CA or PA based nursing home lawyer, is sensible if neglect is apparent. This isn’t just about looking after the interests of your loved one, but also of ensuring that the same problems do not impact others in future.
When evidence of psychological abuse is present
It’s natural for people to have some mental health issues after moving into a nursing home, because this is a major shake-up in their circumstances. But with time, if the home is of a high quality, these side-effects should dissipate.
However, what you need to be on the lookout for are sudden changes in behavior which involve your relative being reticent to discuss what they have been up to recently, as well as them deliberately steering clear of the residents and care workers around them.
This could suggest that they are falling victim to psychological abuse, which can take many forms. Such issues can dismantle a person’s confidence and lead to swift deterioration of their mental health, so contacting a qualified, experienced lawyer will give you the power to fight back.
When unexplained injuries occur
Elderly people are more prone to injuries than youngsters, but if a loved one in a nursing home is persistently showing signs of having been injured, and there is no good explanation forthcoming, physical abuse could be the cause.
Another type of physical abuse associated with this, aside from straight-up cases of aggravated assault, can involve the misuse of medication, both in terms of giving nursing home residents too much or too little of the treatments they require.
Action will be necessary whatever the case, so don’t delay in hiring a lawyer if you suspect that physical abuse is occurring at a nursing home.
When a lack of training is apparent
Even if injuries, malnourishment, improper dosing, and other signs of abuse or neglect are not deliberate, these are all still issues that need to be flagged and dealt with, because the improper or inadequate training of nursing home staff cannot be excused.
Working with the elderly requires the right training as well as the right attitude, and any nursing home which does not adhere to the standards you should expect of it needs to be brought in line with the help of a lawyer.
Most importantly, remember to ask your relatives about their experiences, and don’t be afraid to push them to discuss any issues they have experienced, as they might want to keep any hardships to themselves for fear of disrupting your schedule.