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Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

nursing homesThe decision to enter a nursing home is often difficult and heart-wrenching. Naturally, there are reservations about surrendering one’s independence and the inevitable changes in lifestyle. Family members may feel guilty about no longer being able to care for their loved ones and having to entrust care to qualified nursing home professionals. Tragically, this trust is all too often broken by the nursing home’s abuse and neglect of those we have entrusted to them.

Abuse can be physical, emotional, and verbal. It can occur through the negligence of nursing home staff, through the failure by those responsible for taking care of our loved ones to do so as required by the appropriate standards of care or even through deliberate acts of abuse. Neglect occurs if a senior’s caretaker fails to execute the degree of care expected from a person in that position. Victims of nursing home neglect and abuse may experience bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, errors in the administration of their medicines, weight loss, poor personal hygiene, and falls.

Evidence of elderly abuse is often displayed through rocking, sucking or biting, unexplained open wounds, broken bones, cuts, bruises, burns, and over-sedation. Some of the most serious examples of nursing home abuse may include the hitting, pushing, and shoving of residents; improperly restraining residents; rape or sexual assault; isolation from friends and family; tricking seniors into signing a will or contract or other document; or mental or emotional abuse in the form of verbal threats, babying, bullying, or the silent treatment.

As America grays, more and more seniors find themselves living in nursing homes. Accordingly, nursing home staff members are experiencing increased workloads and increased stress which is leading to an increase in the mistreatment of nursing home residents. Abuse of those living in nursing homes can only be expected to rise. Too many of Alabama’s seniors are let down by the very people who are paid to protect and care for them. Learn the signs of elder abuse and neglect. Evaluate the care your loved ones are receiving. Call us if you need help.

As Attorney General, one of the first actions I took was to form the Family Protection Unit within my office. This unit targeted those who prey upon, exploit, abuse, and harm our seniors. We were vigilant in our work to protect Alabama’s seniors and, when reports of abuse were received, we aggressively pursued those responsible and held them to account. At the Law Offices of Troy King, our commitment to Alabama’s seniors is just as unflagging.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of abuse or neglect by a caregiver in your home or in a nursing home or other nursing home assisted-living facility or other residential facility, contact us. You may do so by calling our toll-free number, (855) 335-8769, or by clicking here to complete a free case evaluation form.

If you are considering entering a nursing home or placing someone you love in a nursing home, the Guide to Nursing Homes tips can reduce the chances of you (or them) becoming the victims of abuse or neglect.

Another resource that can be used to help you select a nursing home is the Nursing Home Checklist. Using this checklist will not guarantee the nursing home you select will not ever abuse or neglect a resident, but it will help you make an informed decision.