In 2008, federal watchdog agencies reported that more than 90% of nursing homes nationwide were cited for violations of federal health and safety guidelines in the previous year. Almost one in five violations posed a threat of “actual harm” or “immediate jeopardy” to patients.
Those are frightening figures, especially to the families of the more than 1.5 million patients who now reside in nursing facilities across the nation.
It is safe to say that nursing home patients suffer from neglect to outright abuse every day in the United States. Some signs to watch for:
- BRUISES, BLACK EYES, WELTS OR CUTS
- BROKEN BONES OR FRACTURES
- BEDSORES OR PRESSURE SORES
- WANDERING FROM FACILITY
- UNSANITARY CONDITIONS
- SOILED BEDDING OR DIAPERS
- EXTREME EMOTIONAL WITHDRAWAL
- UNATTENDED WOUNDS OR INFECTIONS
WHAT IS ELDER ABUSE?
According to the Alabama Department of Senior Services, Elder Abuse takes many forms:
- Neglect – this is when a caregiver fails to meet the physical, social and/or emotional needs of the person.
- Physical abuse – this consists of an intentional infliction of physical harm such as slapping, beating or restraining.
- Financial abuse – this consists of the misuse and exploitation of an elderly person’s possessions and/or monetary assets.
- Psychological abuse – this is the intentional infliction of mental harm or emotional distress upon an elderly person such as insults, verbal assaults and threats.
- Sexual abuse – this is any sexual activity for which the elderly person does not consent or is incapable of giving consent.
- Self neglect – this is when the elderly person fails to meet his or her own physical, emotional and social needs.
WHAT STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN IF ABUSE IS SUSPECTED?
If you suspect abuse or neglect of an elderly person and feel that person is in immediate danger, you should contact the police or call 911. To report abuse or neglect you should contact the Alabama Department of Human Resources, Adult Protective Services Division, at (334) 242-1350 or the Adult Abuse Hotline at (800) 458-7214.
Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one has suffered injury, harm, or wrongful death as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse, legal action may be warranted. Contact DAVENPORT, LAVETTE & CLECKLER, P.C., Alabama Nursing Home Attorneys, for a free consultation and case evaluation. Call 1-800-842-3495 or call 1-205-988-4038.