As the elderly population grows and nursing homes become more crowded, the likelihood of nursing home abuse and neglect has increased. Nursing home caregivers often become overworked and stressed, new employees may be unqualified or improperly trained, and overused equipment and facilities may present dangers to nursing home residents. Abuse can take many forms, including:
- Physical abuse, including not just physical force but also inappropriate use of drugs, restraints or confinement
- Emotional abuse, including verbal and nonverbal psychological abuse
- Neglect, as well as self-neglect without intervention
- Sexual abuse
- Financial exploitation or unauthorized use of an elderly person’s property or funds
- Healthcare fraud, such as charging for unprovided care, overcharging for services, overmedicating or undermedicating, and Medicaid fraud
Of these types of abuse, neglect is often the most common suffered by nursing home residents. Neglect refers to the negligent failure of any person entrusted with the care or custody of an elderly or disabled person to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person in a similar position would exercise, and may involve:
- Failure to assist in personal hygiene, such as bathing, grooming and general cleanliness
- Failure to provide adequate food, clothing or shelter
- Failure to treat physical and mental needs with proper medical care
- Failure to protect from health and safety hazards
- Failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration
Often circumstances constituting neglect are not readily apparent, as signs and symptoms may be subtle and are sometimes blamed on old age and/or inactivity, such as bed sores, weight loss and listlessness. The results of neglect, however, can be just as devastating as physical and emotional abuse, leading to a decline in general health, and in some cases, even accelerated death.
If you or a loved one has been neglected or harmed physically or emotionally in a nursing home, skilled nursing care facility, or retirement residence contact SBLG in Tulsa for a free initial consultation. We can evaluate your situation, coming to your home or hospital room if necessary. If you become our client, you pay no legal fees until we recover on your behalf.