Nursing home neglect lawyer Ed Atkinson handles elder abuse and nursing home negligence cases in Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads. Contact The Law Office of Ed Atkinson at 757-648-8579.
Many families place their trust and confidence in a nursing home to care for an elderly relative. All too often, nursing homes place their hunger for profits above the needs and rights of their residents. Virginia law provides “Residents’ Rights” which guarantee a basic standard of care and treatment for all nursing home residents. Most cases against nursing homes stem from the facility’s failure to provide appropriate health care, safe conditions, and/or protective and supportive services. These violations can cause serious physical injury and in other cases they contribute to an undignified existence for the elderly resident.
The lack of care can result in injuries such as pressure sores that appear on a resident’s skin, leading to infection, the need for surgery, or even death. Sufficient nutrition and hydration are also essential for maintaining the health of an elderly nursing home resident. In facilities that are under-staffed, there is often a lack of attention given to dietary intake resulting in poor nutritional status. It is every resident’s right to expect that he/she will be properly nourished and hydrated in light of the mental or physical difficulties that may prevent them from eating and drinking on their own.
Although slip and fall accidents are not uncommon in nursing homes, some senior facilities fail to perform appropriate assessments of their residents to determine the fall risk and/or fail to take appropriate steps to prevent subsequent falls. Unfortunately, because of the frail condition of many nursing home residents, such falls can lead to hip fractures and other serious injuries which can require life-threatening surgeries or can further diminish the resident’s quality of life. Other common problems are wandering, choking, bed sores, and urinary tract infections, all incidental signs of improper and substandard care.
In many common cases, the resident may actually suffer no physical injury at all, but because of the violations, the resident is deprived of general well-being and his or her right to a dignified existence while residing in their nursing home.
Some of the most common abuse types include:
Physical Abuse – physical elder abuse is non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment. Such abuse includes not only physical assaults such as hitting or shoving but the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.
Emotional Abuse – this occurs when people speak to or treat elderly persons in ways that cause emotional pain or distress. Verbal forms of emotional abuse include: Intimidation through yelling or threats, humiliation and ridicule, and habitual blaming or scapegoating.
Nonverbal psychological elder abuse – this includes ignoring the elderly person, isolating an elder from friends or activities, and terrorizing or menacing the elderly person.
Sexual Abuse – contact with an elderly person without the elder’s consent. Such contact can involve physical sex acts. Other sexual abuse can include activities such as showing an elderly person pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts, or forcing the elder to undress.
Neglect – failure to fulfill a care taking obligation that is either intentional or unintentional
Financial Exploitation – this involves unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property, such as misusing an elder’s personal checks, credit cards, or accounts. Stealing cash, income checks or household goods, forging the elder’s signature, or engaging in identity theft are all ways the caregiver might exploit the elder. Elders may be involved in a scam such as an announcement of a “prize” that the elderly person has won but must pay money to claim, phone charities, or investment fraud.
Healthcare Abuse – Unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and other professional care providers. Health Care abuse and fraud includes: not providing health care, but charging for it, overcharging or double billing for medical care, over or under medicating, and Medicaid fraud
Our elderly are entitled to a dignified existence. When a loved one is placed in a nursing home, he or she should receive the care that is being paid for. They also deserve the degree of care that is appropriate for the well-being and dignity of the resident. When a family member is mistreated, you need to immediately seek the advice of a Norfolk nursing home abuse attorney.
The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health Nursing Home Complaint hotline is 1-888-832-3858 and can be called 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, go to http://www.seniorabuselaw.com/state-by-state-resources/virginia-elder-abuse-resources.html.
Atkinson Law handles cases across Hampton Roads, Virginia and in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Chesapeake, VA