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As people age, making the decision to move an elderly person into a nursing home is often the best choice available, especially if the elderly person has medical conditions or disabilities that leave them unable to care for themselves. That being said, making this decision, even if it’s the best choice, is never easy. One thing that can bring comfort throughout the process, though, is the belief that an elderly person who is living within a nursing home will receive a level of care that they could not get elsewhere. At the law office of Powers & Santola, LLP, our Syracuse nursing home abuse lawyers know that while elderly persons within nursing homes are owed a high level of care, they don’t always receive it; and instead, nursing home abuse and neglect occur. If you believe that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, call our Syracuse nursing home abuse lawyers directly today for the legal counsel and support you deserve.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many forms. As loved ones of elderly persons within nursing homes, it’s important to know the different types of nursing home abuse, as well as the signs of each abuse type.
Physical abuse. Physical abuse is the type of nursing home abuse that most people think of when they picture nursing home abuse. Physical abuse might include hitting, kicking, pinching, burning, improperly restraining, pushing, biting, or otherwise causing intentional harm to a resident. In some cases, it may also involve the improper use of certain medications, such as sedatives, to restrain or control a patient.
Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse occurs anytime that there is unwanted sexual contact or behavior between a resident and a nursing home staff member that is not mutual. This could include sex, rape, sexual assault, improper and unwanted touching, showing sexual images or pictures, and more.
Emotional and psychological abuse. Nursing home residents aren’t only at risk of physical and sexual abuse, but also emotional and psychological abuse. This type of abuse occurs when a nursing home resident is bullied, threatened, teased, socially isolated, or otherwise harassed or treated badly.
Financial exploitation. It’s hard to believe, but there are nursing home staff members who seek to take advantage of residents through financial exploitation. This might take the form of convincing a resident to change their will, make large cash withdrawals, take out a new line of credit, and more for the staff member’s advantage.
Neglect. Nursing home abuse is intentional and falls into one of the categories listed above. Neglect, on the other hand, is not intentional, but is equally as serious. Usually occurring as a result of understaffing, neglect happens when a nursing home resident doesn’t receive the level of care and attention they need and deserve. For example, failing to properly bathe a resident, ensure that they receive good nutrition and supervision during mealtimes, move a patient who is bedridden to prevent bedsores, and more are all examples of neglect.
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
If you suspect that nursing home abuse is occurring, you should take immediate action. If you believe that your elderly loved one is at risk of bodily injury or death, you should call the police. Otherwise, you should document any signs of abuse or neglect and be prepared to report it. You can report nursing home abuse to the New York State Department of Health, which is responsible for investigating complaints. The more evidence and documentation that you can provide the Department, the better.
Bringing Forth a Lawsuit for Syracuse Nursing Home Abuse
In addition to reporting the nursing home abuse to the health department, you may also consider bringing forth a claim for nursing home abuse. A nursing home abuse case is a type of civil lawsuit that seeks to hold the nursing home liable for damages to a resident and their family as a result of nursing home abuse and the breach of the standard of care owed to the patient. Our lawyers can help by investigating your case, gathering evidence of abuse, building your claim, and proving that a breach of the standard of care occurred,
Call Our Syracuse Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today
If you believe that nursing home abuse is occurring and your elderly loved one has suffered or is suffering harm as a result, you may have a nursing home abuse claim. For a free consultation and an overview of your options, call our Syracuse nursing home abuse lawyers at the office of Powers & Santola, LLP directly today.
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