Millions of families have someone they care about in a nursing facility. It is expected that those who work there will treat their residents with dignity and respect but sadly, this is not always the case. Abuse of the sick and elderly is a real problem and it is not always easy to uncover. If you believe someone in your life is being abused in this way, call a Cleveland nursing home physical abuse lawyer.
A compassionate nursing home abuse attorney from Tittle & Perlmuter could gather evidence and file a claim to get your loved one out of a dangerous situation, and seek relief for the injuries they suffered.
Physical abuse encompasses any kind of physical assault of a patient, whether it was intentional or occurred through reckless actions. This can include accidental errors on the part of the nursing home staff that does not meet the standard of care of their duties. For example, a patient may be at risk for pressure sores because they are immobile, while the standard of care requires that they get turned at least every two hours to prevent sores.
Failure to follow these rules could potentially make nursing staff liable for physical abuse, even if there was no ill intent involved.
Patients who tend to be more vulnerable to physical abuse include those with dementia, developmental disabilities, other mental infirmities, or those who have suffered a stroke. If they have trouble communicating with others, that could make them more likely to be abused because they cannot speak up for themselves. Consequently, those who are capable of speaking out can inform staff if they are in pain or if they are not receiving their proper treatment. Those who cannot move around without assistance are at risk of physical neglect from facility staff.
The sudden onset of depression, repeated hospitalizations, becoming non-communicative, frequent falls, and the presence of bruising or other injuries might be indications that physical abuse is occurring. It is important to inform a Cleveland attorney of these conditions immediately so they could investigate the physical abuse further.
Nursing home staff members are generally forbidden from using force to deal with an unruly patient. The resident would have to be exhibiting violent tendencies which cannot be controlled with less restrictive means before force can even be considered. There are a number of regulations that have arisen from questions about the use of force, including those regarding residents who do not have the mental capacity to comply with orders.
Because the number of situations where force is acceptable is extremely limited, anyone who believes that their family member has been handled with violent force should contact an attorney immediately.
Common situations where facility staff members have used inappropriate force include instances where a dementia patient is acting out or someone is refusing the proper dosage of their prescribed medications. Nurses sometimes get frustrated and use excessive force when dealing with bouts of incontinence and cannot get the patient to turn over. Thus, it is also the responsibility of the nursing homes to hire staff that can control their emotions and know how to handle difficult residents.
If you or a loved one was physically abused in a nursing home, you may be able to recover damages. Typically, in these cases, the economic damages will consist of medical and therapy bills. The damage award may be higher if the injury is so severe that the patient will need a higher level of long-term care than what they previously had. If a family member has to leave their job in order to take care of the injured person because they do not trust the facility, then that could also be sought in damages.
A Cleveland nursing home physical abuse lawyer is ready to listen to your concerns and potentially file a claim to bring a sense of dignity back to your family member. Call us now for a free and confidential evaluation.