As we face an aging population, many people may find it necessary to spend their final years in nursing homes where they can get proper care and help. Unfortunately, many times residents of nursing homes find themselves experiencing elderly abuse in Arkansas nursing homes at the hands that are entrusted to care for them.
What is the problem
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, more than half of the total number of nursing homes in the United States are understaffed.
This can lead to additional work for the nursing home workers, which can lead to frustrated workers becoming abusive towards the older people they take care of. Elderly abuse comes in many forms – mental, physical, emotional, or sexual. Also, the elderly can be neglected, which manifests in poor hygiene, poor nutrition, or improper medical care so it is important to get an experienced Arkansas nursing home attorney.
Nursing Home Resident’s Bill of Rights
The nursing home’s mission is to provide the older adult with a healthy, clean, and pleasant place. They are supposed to be protective of their residents. Also, they are obligated to treat every older person the same way (discrimination due to nationality, social status, race, religion is not allowed).
The Nursing Home Resident’s Bill of Rights legally mandates nursing homes to provide their clients with proper care and no discrimination.
Both residents and employees are required to read and understand this Bill of Rights.
In case they are not able to do it, the caregiver must read it and explain it to them. This Bill of Rights empowers the resident to:
- Choose their doctor
- Manage their finances
- Complain if something isn’t right
- Participate in and plan their medical care
- Have privacy, respect, and dignity
- Maintain their possessions
- Be free from restraints
- Not be released unless their medical condition requires that
This Bill of Rights protects people in nursing homes and is upheld in court.
How to Deal with Nursing Home Abuse?
There are both visible and less obvious signs of nursing home abuse.
Obvious signs may include visible bruises, wounds, or even broken bones. The less obvious signs may include fearful behavior, failure to communicate, or withdrawn behavior. If a resident expresses any of these behaviors, then it may be an indication that abuse is occurring.
You may notice an abused resident by their poor personal hygiene. They may appear like they haven’t eaten properly in days; dehydration can be another sign as well.
If you have noticed any of these signs (no matter if the resident is your relative or not), you must act fast. First of all, call the police and then seek legal help from an Arkansas nursing home attorney.
Don’t wait or presume that you imagined the behaviors or signs. Sometimes, you may be the only one who will try to offer help to the abused older person.
The resident may fear to answer any question you ask about the abuse; remember that they are scared and may be ashamed of what happened. In many cases, these people have no other place to go and fear that they might end up on the streets. This is why they may be quiet and don’t report the abuse.
If your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, the law is on your side. You may be able to file a lawsuit and claim damages as a result of the nursing home abuse or neglect. With a dedicated nursing home abuse attorney, you can fight to get the compensation your loved one deserves.
A nursing home abuse attorney will help you with their knowledge of the laws (state and federal), and their experience in similar cases will help with your claim.
Nobody has the right to disturb, abuse, or threaten an older adult, no matter how frustrated they are with their work. At The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, we will listen to your case, advise you on what to do next, and help file the lawsuit. Call us today to discuss your nursing home negligence needs.