Nursing homes and elder care facilities have a unique responsibility – to watch over, protect and care for our loved ones when they can no longer care for themselves. We trust the owners and operators of these facilities to provide quality medical care and day to day assistance, as necessary. Just as important, we trust the company and staff to treat our parents, grandparents and other relatives with respect. Tragically, some care facilities fail to uphold the standard of care we expect. In the worst cases, residents may sustain severe and possibly fatal physical and/or psychological injuries due to negligence or outright mistreatment. Nursing home abuse is a grave injustice to your loved one and a betrayal of your trust, leaving you feeling deceived and powerless. Towson nursing home injury lawyer Susan R. Green founded Hardball Law to empower those who feel powerless to act after injuries and betrayals like elder abuse. Insurance companies, facility owners and defense attorneys often try to intimidate family members or deflect blame for nursing home injuries. However, Baltimore elder abuse attorney Susan Green can help you stand up and hold these negligent parties accountable for what they have done. If you want to fight for justice for a loved one and need the help of a nursing home neglect lawyer, then contact Hardball Law.
What are Common Signs of Elder Abuse in Maryland?
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be particularly insidious as residents may be unable or unwilling to report their treatment. Therefore, if you notice any signs or symptoms of elder abuse, you should speak to your loved one and move him or her to a different facility immediately, if necessary. Common warning signs that may indicate nursing home neglect and abuse include:
- Bedsores. Also called pressure sores, these lesions develop when a person spends too long sitting or lying in one position. Nursing home staff should help residents move regularly to prevent this; bedsores are often a sign that staff is neglecting basic duties.
- Malnutrition or dehydration. Sudden weight loss, dry skin and lips, dizziness and other signs of malnutrition or dehydration indicate negligent care.
- Poor hygiene or unwashed clothes. Understaffing, overwork or staff negligence can result in residents waiting days for assistance bathing or changing clothes.
- Injuries from improper restraint. These may include bruises on the wrists and ankles, or even broken bones.
- Slip and fall injuries. Many nursing home residents may have difficulty balancing alone, so fall injuries may result from negligent supervision or lack of assistance.
- Infection or illness. Untreated bedsores and unsanitary conditions increase the risk of illness and infection.
- Medication omission or errors. Missed or incorrect doses and wrong medication can cause injuries or exacerbate a medical condition.
- Silence or fear of staff. Psychological abuse can cause personality changes and fearful behavior.
- Depression or emotional withdrawal. Any kind of elder abuse can result in depression and other emotional changes.
- Evidence of theft or financial abuse. Financial exploitation is a common form of elder abuse; monitor your loved one’s bank accounts and possessions, if possible, to prevent this manipulation.
Who is Liable for Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Injuries?
If nursing home negligence or abuse caused your loved one’s injuries or wrongful death, then the facility itself is generally liable for the damages. Although it is possible for other third parties to share the blame, the nursing home is usually responsible for ensuring that residents receive a reasonable standard of care. However, business owners may neglect state and federal standards in the interests of profits. Common causes of nursing home injuries in Maryland that may result from such negligence include:
- Understaffing or undertraining. Nursing home owners or operators may try to cut costs by hiring too few staff members to care for the residents. Even qualified nurses and care workers may be unable to properly monitor a large number of patients. Additionally, lack of training of new staff can create hazardous conditions.
- Substandard hiring practices. Nursing homes must ensure that nurses and other workers are qualified and have no negative history of abuse or neglect. However, some facilities hire or continue to employ staff members who do not provide adequate care.
- Lack of security. Security measures such as cameras, locked doors and security guards keep residents and their possessions safe. Proper security keeps unwanted visitors from entering the premises and also prevents residents from wandering away.
- Failure to supervise patients. Poor supervision can result in slip and fall accidents or other injuries. Additionally, staff must ensure that residents are safe from harm caused by other patients in the home.
- Poor medical care. Nursing home staff are responsible for protecting residents’ health, which includes treating illnesses and injuries, or arranging for treatment. Failure to do so can result in further injury, infection or wrongful death.
Need Help Fighting a Negligent Facility? Call Our Baltimore County Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
You and your loved one deserve respect and the assurance of a reasonable standard of care from a nursing home. If staff or the facility owner betray your trust and harm your relative or loved one, then contact Baltimore elder abuse lawyer Susan R. Green. She has made a career of standing up to corporations and individuals who harm the most vulnerable members of society. She will fight for justice for your loved one and for the compensation you deserve.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of elder abuse in Maryland or anywhere, then you should take action immediately. Move your loved one to a different home, if possible, and then contact Hardball Law to schedule a free initial consultation.