If you rely on an assisted living facility because you can no longer care for your relative at home, you should be confident that they are receiving the care, assistance, and attention they need. Unfortunately, neglect and abuse do occur in long-term care facilities, and when that does occur, you have the right to seek compensation on your family member’s behalf. Schedule a consultation with Harry H. Albritton, a nursing home abuse lawyer in New Bern, NC, to discuss the abuse or neglect you have witnessed or suspect is occurring to begin an investigation and the process of seeking damages.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse occurs when an employee is intentionally causing harm to a resident or failing to provide proper care. It also includes when another resident is harming your loved one and nothing is being done to stop this.
- Physical abuse: Hitting, pushing, or kicking;
- Mental abuse: Name-calling, embarrassment, withholding mail or belongings, yelling or swearing at the resident;
- Sexual abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact or exposure to sexual activity. Often, nursing home residents don’t have the ability to give proper consent.
- Exploitation: Stealing assets or property or using coercion to receive assets or property;
- Neglect: Failing to provide proper care, including hygiene, medical needs, food, and clothing; Even if neglect is caused by understaffing or poor training of the staff but the facility is still liable.
If you see, hear, or suspect anything that is abusive, make sure to document this immediately, particularly physical proof, including bruising, financial documents, or bed sores, and report it to the North Carolina Board of Nursing Home Abuse as well as consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer on behalf of your loved one.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There may not be witnesses who see abuse taking place, and the victim may not be able to communicate what is happening. If you observe any of these signs, it’s important to make a complaint to the state agency immediately as well as consult with a lawyer about opening up an investigation and a civil case.
- Changes in personality, such as withdrawal, depression, and anxiety;
- Isolation or being isolated from visitors and loved ones
- Bed sores
- Bruises, cuts, or burns with no explanation
- Poor hygiene
- Irregular financial transactions
- Missing or errors with medication
- Rapid decline in cognitive, communication, or daily living skills.
How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
While reporting complaints to NCBENHA is important, you should also contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your concerns. This is important for two reasons:
- State agencies may be overwhelmed and during any delays of an investigation, evidence can be lost and abuse or neglect can continue.
- Your loved one may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, pain, and suffering. A complaint to the state will open an investigation, but damages must be sought after in civil court with your own lawyer.
Attorney Harry H. Albritton and our legal team at Irons & Irons P.A. will discuss your concerns and if necessary, will launch an immediate investigation and begin pursuing damages on you and your loved one’s behalf. Whether the abuse or neglect is a systemic issue throughout the facility or it is one individual perpetrating abuse, the facility is responsible due to laws related to negligent hiring and liability. Thus, he will work to hold the nursing home responsible for their role in the mistreatment of your loved one and ensure this doesn’t happen to another family.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents
Residents in long-term care facilities have federally protected rights, including the right to:
- Having their level of independence respected, as well as their privacy and property;
- Freedom from discrimination based on age, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability;
- Not have chemical restraints (sedation) or physical restraints used as a punishment or disciplinary action;
- Receive appropriate care, including ensuring proper food, medical treatment, hygiene, and shelter;
- Have and maintain contact with family, visitors, and medical professionals;
- Have access to social services.
Schedule a Consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in New Bern, NC
Your loved ones should be safe, happy, and properly cared for in their long-term care facility, and we will fight to get justice for your family in the event they were neglected or abused. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with Attorney Albritton, reach out to us today at 252-320-7399 or fill out the contact form below.