We all want to ensure the best quality of life and care for our elderly loved ones, and nursing homes play a crucial role in that care. Sadly, acts of abuse and neglect in these facilities have become a growing nationwide concern.
Cases of nursing home abuse in Maryland have raised alarms, necessitating the intervention of legal professionals specializing in elder abuse cases, like our Chillum nursing home abuse lawyers.
Understanding More About Abuse Occurring in Nursing Homes
“Nationwide, abuse, including neglect and exploitation, is experienced by about 1 in 10 people aged 60 and older. From 2002 to 2016, more than 643,000 older adults were treated in the emergency department for nonfatal assaults, and over 19,000 homicides occurred. It is important to note that the number of nonfatal assault injuries is likely an underestimate because the data only included
people treated in emergency departments.”
– Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Report, “Preventing Elder Abuse.”
Nursing home abuse can take various forms, ranging from physical and emotional abuse to financial exploitation and neglect.
Recognizing the signs of abuse is crucial for family members to take prompt action.
Common indicators of abuse or neglect can include:
- Unexplained injuries like fractures, bruises, burns, or cuts
- Physical signs of restraint
- Pressure Ulcers (bedsores) or uncleaned wounds
- Sudden weight loss or signs of dehydration
- Emotional withdrawal, depression, agitation, or sudden distress
- Sudden unwillingness to communicate
- Unexplained fear or avoidance of specific staff
- Heightened disorientation or confusion
- Unkempt or dirty living spaces or signs of vermin or insect infestations
- Soiled bedding or clothing
- Changes in financial transactions, odd charges, or unfamiliar expenses
Nursing Home Abuse in Maryland
2020 research by Maryland’s Department of Aging found 283 reported abuse allegations of nursing home/care facility abuse, among them:
- 110 reports of physical abuse
- 70 cases of gross neglect
- 49 allegations of psychological abuse
- 37 reports of financial malfeasance
- 17 sexual abuse allegations
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “[elder] abuse most often occurs at the hands of nursing home caregivers. In some cases, fellow residents or third parties (e.g., visitors, vendors, etc.)”
Role of Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
When nursing home abuse is suspected or confirmed, families often turn to legal professionals specializing in elder abuse cases. Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers play a crucial role in advocating for the rights of the elderly and holding negligent facilities accountable.
Here are some key aspects of their role:
- Legal Consultation
Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers offer initial consultations to families facing concerns about the treatment of their loved ones in nursing homes. During these consultations, lawyers assess the situation, provide legal advice, and discuss potential courses of action.
- Investigation and Documentation
In cases of suspected abuse, lawyers conduct thorough investigations to gather evidence supporting the claim. This may involve reviewing medical records, interviewing staff and witnesses, and collecting any available surveillance footage. Proper documentation is essential for building a strong case.
- Filing Complaints
Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers are well-versed in filing complaints with the appropriate regulatory bodies. This may involve reporting the abuse to the Maryland Department of Health or other relevant agencies responsible for overseeing nursing home facilities.
- Negotiation and Settlement
Experienced lawyers engage in negotiations with nursing home facilities to seek a resolution that compensates the victim and addresses the issues at hand. This may involve financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
In cases where negotiation fails to yield a satisfactory outcome, Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers may proceed to litigation. They file lawsuits against the negligent parties, advocating for the rights of the elderly and seeking justice through the legal system.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
While legal action is crucial in addressing nursing home abuse, preventative measures are equally important. Families can take proactive steps to safeguard their loved ones in care facilities:
Research the Facilities
Before selecting a nursing home for a family member, conduct thorough research on potential facilities. Online reviews, facility ratings, and reports from government agencies can provide valuable insights.
Make Regular Visits
Frequent visits allow family members to monitor the conditions of the nursing home and observe the treatment of their loved ones. Establishing a regular presence can deter potential abuse and ensure that the elderly receive the care they deserve. It may also be a good idea to vary these visits to different times and days of the week.
Families should stay informed about the rights of nursing home residents and be aware of the signs of abuse. The Maryland Department of Aging provides resources and information to empower families to protect their loved ones.
The increase in nursing home abuse in Maryland and throughout the United States demands our attention and action. Nursing home abuse lawyers play a crucial role in holding negligent facilities accountable and seeking justice for victims.
By being vocal, leveraging legal resources, staying informed, and taking preventative measures, families can contribute to the well-being of their elderly loved ones and promote a culture of accountability within nursing home facilities.
Together, we can work towards ensuring that our seniors receive the care and respect they deserve in their golden years.
If you or a loved one have suffered abuse in a care facility, the expert nursing home abuse lawyers at GDH Law are ready to consult with you, free of charge, to discuss your situation, your rights, and the compensation you may be due.
If you suspect that your elderly loved one is in imminent danger of harm, you should first call 911 and report it immediately (do not inform the facility in advance), and then reach out to us as soon as possible.
Contact our office – we’re here to help!