When a loved one of ours reaches a point where they have to live in a nursing home, it’s a scary thing to do. Throughout the majority of human history, we lived in multigenerational households. Parents raised children with the help of their own parents and other extended family members.
Meanwhile, as the elderly family members reached an age where they needed help, the younger generations would take over. They would care for their elderly family members until the time of their passing.
In Many Ways, Nursing Homes Have Taken Over Multigenerational Familial Duties
While multigenerational households exist in the US today, they are not the norm. Many adults lead lives that are simply too busy to adequately care for their elders. As a result, many families send their elderly parents to live in a nursing home where they can receive the specialized care and attention they deserve. It’s a scary thing to do for many families because you need to trust that the nursing home will give your relatives the respect, compassion, and attention they need.
Unfortunately, our elders in nursing homes don’t always receive the proper treatment that they deserve. Given their diminishing physical and mental capabilities, our elders in nursing homes are a very vulnerable population. Our elders lack the independence they once had—which means they must depend on strangers to care for them. Their families also have to depend on those strangers.
Nursing Home Abuse Happens, But You Can Do Something About It
Sometimes, those strangers who are tasked with caring for elders choose to abuse our family members. This abuse can go on for years if unnoticed. The abuse can even contribute to the death of our loved ones. Still, if you notice the abuse, you can put a stop to it. How? With the help of a Louisville nursing home abuse attorney.
Over the years, the Louisville nursing home abuse attorneys at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys have helped countless families get their elders out of dangerous, abusive situations in nursing homes. If you think your loved one is facing abuse at their nursing home, we can help. Here is some information on nursing home abuse, including what to look for and what to do if you notice it.
What Signs Should I Watch Out For?
Nursing abuse can happen in any number of ways. Often, nursing home abuse involves general physical abuse and the infliction of pain that may result in lacerations or bruising. However, emotional, financial, and physical abuse that is sexual in nature can happen just as often. The first step to stopping nursing home abuse is identifying it.
If you don’t know that your loved one faces abuse, you can’t do anything to stop it. There are quite a few signs that can indicate nursing home abuse. However, some of these signs, taken alone, do not necessarily mean that nursing home abuse is happening. Still, if you notice these signs, you should not ignore them.
Here are some things that you should look out for:
- Unexpected changes in the physical or mental health of your loved one (changes not explained by their medical condition);
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, welts, broken bones, or abrasions;
- Broken or missing possessions (jewelry, glasses, entertainment devices, phones, credit cards, money);
- Your loved one appears skittish or scares more easily than they typically would;
- Your loved one is specifically scared of being alone;
- You have trouble getting in contact with your loved one;
- You are unable to talk to your loved one alone (on the phone or in-person);
- Your loved one appears socially withdrawn or distant; and
- Unexplained expenditures, charitable donations, or bills from unexplained sources.
If you notice any of these signs start to emerge, don’t wait. Talk to your loved one about it as soon as possible. If they tell you they are facing abuse, take action as soon as possible. If your relative denies any abuse, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is not happening. They may not tell you out of fear, or they may not notice what’s going on. That is why it is so important for you to remain vigilant.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
If you have reason to believe that one of your elderly relatives faces abuse in their nursing home or assisted living community, you should take action immediately.
After you notice some signs of abuse and talk to your relative, document what you know. If your fears are effectively assuaged, continue to monitor the situation closely. If your fears are not assuaged by your discussions with your relative, take further action.
The most effective way to stop nursing home abuse is with the help of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. Talk to your attorney about what you have noticed, and bring any evidence you have to them. If there is not enough information to determine what is going on, your lawyer can help in a number of ways.
For one, your lawyer can hire a nursing home abuse expert to look at the situation and evidence at hand. Alternatively, your lawyer can research the nursing home in question to see if they have a history of abuse. Your lawyer can even help you hire a private investigator to look further into the situation and compile evidence. That’s just the start.
How Else Can an Attorney Help Me?
Once you know that your loved one is, in fact, facing abuse, you and your lawyer can take steps to stop it. First, your lawyer can help you pull your loved one out of the facility without having to pay exorbitant contract cancellation fees. Knowing they are safe, your lawyer can help you find a better, safer facility. After you get your loved one out of the abusive situation, you can start the process of recovering damages. Your loved one not only deserves to get out of the abusive situation—but they deserve to have the abuse rectified.
Your loved one may have suffered from all sorts of damages: economic damages in extra medical bills or stolen money, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or diminishing quality of life. If your loved one died as a result of the abuse, you could file a wrongful death claim.
Your loved one may also sue for punitive damages if your attorney can show fraud or intent with respect to the abuse. After all, it isn’t hard to prove intent in situations of abuse. The amount of money you can recover in your claim depends entirely on the total damages suffered. With that said, however, nursing home abuse settlements are often quite significant.
Put a Stop to the Abuse with Gerling Law Injury Attorneys
If you think your loved one faces abuse, the Louisville nursing home abuse lawyers at Gerling Law injury Attorneys are ready to help you put a stop to it. Whether you are just starting to suspect the abuse or are already in possession of clear and convincing evidence, our team will help you take the next steps. Abuse of our loved ones isn’t something to take lightly, so it’s important to ensure that you have the right attorney on your side.
One of the most important things to look for is experience. Keep in mind that you are not just looking for experience as an attorney, but experience specifically with nursing home abuse. Our Louisville nursing home abuse attorneys have considerable experience in this legal area because they focus solely on nursing home abuse. Don’t wait. Put a stop to the abuse now. Call Gerling Law Injury Attorneys today and tell us your story!