While nursing homes are supposed to be safe environments for their elderly residents, there are instances of neglect and abuse that can happen. The vulnerability of this age group makes them a common target for those with impure motives, and they may not be able to advocate for themselves as well as they used to.
Unfortunately, the statistics for elder abuse in nursing homes are higher than you might think. 1 in 6 people over the age of 60 in community settings faced some type of abuse over the course of a year according to a study from the World Health Organization. Neglect and abuse could encompass many different things that may happen, including physical assault, incorrect distribution of medication, withholding of medication, staff neglect, improper treatment of ailments, or any number of other circumstances.
Although we never want to experience this with our loved ones who are living in nursing homes, knowing your legal options after the fact could help to pursue justice for your family member, even though the physical or emotional damage may not be undone. It can also help prevent future problems in that facility. If that is the case, you should be aware of how a lawyer could help.
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In the event of neglect or abuse happening to your loved one in a nursing home, the facility may not be on your side in terms of addressing the situation. If so, you will need to build a case against the nursing home and compile evidence. A lawyer can assist you with this process, knowing what type of proof to look for and how to show that the nursing home is at fault for the damage done to your loved one. You must have a strong case in order to reach a fair settlement and potential compensation, so you need a third party who understands the ins and outs of a lawsuit. The earlier you get in touch with a lawyer, the better your chances are of them being able to compile enough evidence of mistreatment.
When you get in touch with a nursing home lawyer, it may be because you don’t know what to do about the neglect or abuse that your loved one has experienced. Hiring an attorney quickly can help you pursue legal action and ensure that the mistreatment stops right away. In addition to saving your loved one from further pain and suffering, there is potential for financial compensation for them. Depending on the specific case and what the neglect or abuse looks like, a lawyer will be able to determine what level of damages your family member may be entitled to. If there are injuries or physical damage sustained as a result of the abuse, this compensation could help with any necessary treatment.
As mentioned before, hiring a lawyer to address nursing home neglect or abuse can help your family member by stopping the abuse going forward. Lawyers will contact authorities or social services to report these incidents, forcing the nursing home to fix the oversight that led to the problem. Additionally, protecting the information and identity of your loved one is a staple of the mediation process. Anonymity will be crucial to caring for the well-being of the individual who experienced the mistreatment, as well as their family members. These legal experts exist in order to prevent further issues in nursing homes by bringing consequences to the facility and the staff involved.
With the expertise that lawyers bring to the table, they can confirm the direction that you should be going in to address elder neglect or abuse. If you are not sure about the presence of mistreatment, they can advise you on how to watch for it and when to make a report. They can also advise you on what to say and what not to say to the nursing home and its staff to avoid making mistakes in the process. If you want to build a case, the lawyers will know where to begin and how to do so effectively. Essentially, nursing home lawyers will guide you so that you avoid any missteps that could hurt your case.
For those who have loved ones in nursing homes, we never want to find out that they are being mistreated, but it happens to many elderly individuals in these kinds of facilities. It can be devastating to know that your family member is not receiving the care or attention that they deserve. The resulting negative emotions will be hard to manage, especially if you want to pursue legal options to end the issues.
Hiring a lawyer will help you deal with this difficult situation in a practical way, as they understand the process and the emotional weight that comes with it. Though we all hope to never encounter this, it is important that you have the legal support you need if the worst should happen.