Older Americans sometimes need medical care that exceeds what loved ones can offer at home. Though no one wants to place a loved one in a nursing home, it is sometimes impractical for family members to meet their needs at home, especially without medical training.
It is particularly appalling when an elderly person is hurt by the people entrusted to protect them. Unfortunately, nursing home staff can abuse or neglect a senior in many ways. Often, family members do not even realize the injuries are due to neglect. This is where it can help to speak with an Allentown nursing home abuse lawyer to learn more about your rights and get help protecting your loved ones through a personal injury lawsuit.
Nursing homes exist to provide around-the-clock care and support for frail and vulnerable individuals. Residents can come into a nursing home from hospitalization in need of strengthening after surgery or for long-term treatment. In other cases, they may require acute rehabilitation to regain independence before going home. Some may have fallen at home and require long-term care to walk on their own again before it is safe to go home.
Whatever the reason for a person being in a nursing home, most residents already have a complex list of medical issues. A nursing home must have enough staff to properly provide the required level of care. Sadly, many nursing homes are woefully understaffed, leaving some residents without enough hands-on staff to keep them safe. Common injuries in cases of neglect include:
An attorney in Allentown could review a resident’s injuries and determine the next steps for a nursing home abuse claim.
Allentown nursing home neglect attorneys typically see a wide range of injuries, but perhaps the most common underlying cause is staffing. When a nursing home fails to have enough workers to meet the demands of the resident population, it can lead to serious problems. For instance, a resident who has urinary incontinence may call for help, but after some time of not getting a response from staff, they may attempt to get to the bathroom unassisted, despite having a recent surgery or not being able to walk without help. This tends to be a leading reason for falls and fractures.
Similarly, when there are not enough nurses, or they are not properly trained, elderly patients can get pressure ulcers (also called bedsores). When a patient lies in the same position for too long, the skin can break down, exposing the sensitive tissues underneath. When left untreated, these can rupture and open, leading to sepsis and other infections.
Our team will work to identify the underlying reasons for injuries and fight to hold careless facility owners and managers accountable.
Families often do not realize their loved ones are being harmed until it is too late. One of the best things a person can do to avoid abuse or neglect in a nursing home is to visit frequently, become familiar with the resident’s care, and communicate with the nursing staff often. Keeping detailed notes from each conversation or visit is also helpful.
However, even when a family does everything right, serious injuries still happen. An Allentown nursing home abuse attorney with experience fighting large corporations could guide a family through the daunting process of seeking justice. Whether the resident is still alive and needs to be moved to a safer environment or has passed away due to their injuries, an attorney could obtain significant financial compensation for the senior and their family. Reach out to our office to learn more about your legal options.