When you put your loved one in a Virginia nursing home or long-term care facility, you expect them to be cared for with respect and dignity. When you begin to suspect that their human rights are being neglected, it is natural to feel angry and hurt. If you believe a loved one might be the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be able to sue for damages.
Tronfeld West & Durrett are local attorneys who work hard to protect the dignity and rights of your family and loved ones throughout Virginia. We are familiar with the red flags that could point to elder abuse or neglect. Ask yourself the following questions, and if you are not satisfied with the answers, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney at 1-800-321-6741 today to discuss your legal options.
Are basic needs being met?
If your loved one is living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, they may need help with everyday tasks such as bathing, eating, and getting dressed. They may need help going to the bathroom or turning over in bed as well.
It is the responsibility of the facility to make sure these basic needs are being met. Signs that basic needs are being neglected could include:
- Bed sores
- Unsanitary living conditions
Is there adequate supervision?
If someone you love has managed to wander off while in a nursing home or been injured by another resident, this lack of supervision could be a sign of neglect. Additional examples and causes for concern include:
- A caregiver taking an unusually long time to report illness to a doctor or family member
- Rapid weight loss or gain without prompt physician or family notification
- Broken bones
- Fractured hip or accidents requiring hospitalization
While these occurrences may not always be a result of neglect, it is safest to thoroughly examine the situation.
Can the caretaker answer your questions?
Accidents do happen, and your family member’s caretaker will not be able to avoid every mishap. The occasional bed-wetting, for example, is no reason for alarm.
The caretaker might not be present in the room every moment of the day, but he or she should be near enough to be able to quickly answer a call for help. If an accident does occur, the caretaker should be able to provide a plausible explanation of what happened and why it was not prevented. Most importantly, mishaps should NOT be a frequent occurrence.
If your loved one frequently has cuts, sores, or injuries that your caretaker cannot explain, consider it a red flag. If your family member wandered outside of the facility and was missing for some time, you have a right to be concerned and demand further investigation.
Is your family member being given the correct medication?
Medication mishaps are alarmingly common in nursing homes, but most people think little of it. After all, the staff has dozens of clients and numerous drugs to keep track of on a daily basis, so it is easy to understand why they might make a mistake.
As common as these mistakes may be, they are not a forgivable matter. Medication mishaps are a serious issue and can result in severe and fatal injury. Examples of medication mistakes include:
- Missed medication
- Incorrect drug given
- Unnotified switch in treatment
Are there signs of abuse?
While neglect is often unintentional, unfortunately there are cases in which nursing home abuse is an issue. Disrespect for the elderly, physically disabled, or mentally impaired is more common than we would like to think.
Signs of elder abuse include:
- Unexplained bruises or welts
- Unreasonable physical restraint by a health care giver
- Slapping, pushing, shaking, or beating
If your loved one complains of being mistreated, take them seriously. Look into the situation yourself and determine if they are being cared for in a proper manner.
If your loved one has recently died, you are likely battling an influx of emotions. If their death was unexpected or sudden, you may be confused, hurt, and angry. You may be wondering if the caretaker is at fault or could have done something to prevent the death.
If your family member’s caregiver cannot adequately explain the cause of death, your suspicions are likely valid. If you believe that neglect or abuse could have contributed, you should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney to discuss your rights.
At Tronfeld West & Durrett, we believe in respect and dignity toward the elderly and physically or mentally impaired. We will uphold your family member’s rights and make sure that you and your family are well compensated for any heartache caused by another’s neglect or abuse.
Use our contact form or call us today at 1-800-321-6741 for a free legal consultation. We have offices conveniently located in your neighborhood, whether you are in Richmond, Petersburg or Chesterfield.