Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Cary-Apex should be secure and restful. But what happens when you discover that the home you trusted has been abusing your loved one or neglecting their needs?
The Cary, NC nursing home abuse attorneys from Henson Fuerst can help you hold the nursing home accountable for its actions. Call today at (919) 781-1107 or complete a free initial consultation form now.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
A nursing facility will never be “just like home,” but that doesn’t mean your loved one should tolerate poor conditions, abuse, or neglect. If you have a family member in long-term care, the Cary, NC nursing home abuse lawyers from Henson Fuerst suggest watching for these signs of abuse:
- Abnormally pale complexion
- Bruises in a pattern that would suggest restraints—typically around wrists, arms, and/or legs
- Fleas, lice, mold, mildew, or dirt on the resident or in the resident’s room
- Odors of urine or feces
- Open wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts
- Poor personal hygiene or other unattended health problems
- Poor skin turgor, suggesting dehydration
- Sudden and/or excessive weight loss
- Torn clothing or broken personal items
- Untreated or infected bedsores
Common Signs of Poor Management and Supervision of the Nursing Home
Nursing home staff have a responsibility to ensure their residents are properly cared for. Some common signs of negligent staff members include:
- Inability to find nursing staff when you need them
- Nursing staff do not come in to check on the resident on a regular basis
- Staff do not respond to the call bell in a timely manner
- Staff cannot answer your questions about your loved one’s care
- Nurses and aides not properly trained
- Nurses and aides not properly supervised
- Frequent staff turnover
- Smell of urine/feces in facility
- Poor personal hygiene or other unattended health problems
If you notice any of these issues happening with your loved one, contact our Cary, NC nursing home abuse attorneys immediately. We’ll do everything we can to stop the abuse and ensure your family member gets the care he or she needs.
Steps to Follow After Discovering Nursing Home Abuse
Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facility is never easy. But when you discover the facility you trusted to take care of your family member has mistreated, abused, or neglected your loved one, what do you do?
The Cary, NC nursing home abuse lawyers at Henson Fuerst suggest taking these steps:
- Seek medical attention.
Take your loved one to a hospital or alternative care facility to be examined as soon as possible. If the nursing staff doesn’t allow you to remove your family member from the facility, contact a Cary, NC nursing home abuse attorney at Henson Fuerst immediately.
- Document the abuse.
As soon as you discover your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect, take pictures of the injuries and room conditions, and write down any witness statements from staff or other residents.
- Re-locate your loved one.
Whenever possible, try and move your loved one to another facility. Choosing another facility may take time, so make sure you have documented and reported the abuse as soon as possible.
- Report the abuse.
If your loved one or other nursing home residents exhibit any signs and symptoms of abuse, report the abuse as soon as possible to government authorities.
- Contact Henson Fuerst.
A Cary, NC nursing home abuse lawyer at Henson Fuerst can investigate the details surrounding your case and help ensure the abuse or neglect is put to an end for the entire facility.
Looking for a Long-Term Care Ombudsman?
A long-term care ombudsman is an advocate for residents in elder care facilities, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. An ombudsman is trained to help resolve problems and assist patients or families when filing complaints. All matters are kept confidential unless specified otherwise.
In North Carolina, there are currently 17 offices with long-term ombudsman support throughout the state. Below is a link to the most up to date list for the state of North Carolina.
A long-term care ombudsman has multiple benefits, including:
- Resolve complaints made for or by residents of long-term care facilities.
- Educate consumers and long-term care providers about residents rights and good care practices.
- Promote community involvement.
- Provide public information on nursing homes and other long-term care facilities services, residents rights and legislative and policy issues.
We’ll Fight for Your Loved One
If you are concerned about the treatment your loved one is receiving in a nursing home or long-term care facility, contact a Cary, NC nursing home abuse lawyer today at (919) 781-1107 or complete a free initial consultation form.
The legal team at Henson Fuerst has a long history of advocating for the rights of people suffering from mistreatment in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Let us help you and your family member.
When you have Henson Fuerst on your side, you’ll be treated with respect and compassion. A member of our experienced legal team will listen to your concerns and document the details of your case. Our Cary, NC nursing home abuse lawyers will research the issues of abuse or neglect and fight to get your loved one the treatment and respect he or she deserves.
Tips for Visiting a Nursing Home in Cary, NC
- Keep in mind the limitations of the person you are visiting. What are the person’s physical or cognitive limitations? Do they have a limited attention span, or do they tire quickly? If so, plan a shorter visit. If they have trouble recognizing people, it might be too overwhelming if you arrive with a large number of visitors.
- Call ahead. Talk with the resident and the nursing staff to see if some days or times are better or worse than others. Some people with dementia need consistency, and breaking a routine by arriving during mealtime or other activity could be disruptive. Also, some people might have better energy or mood earlier in the day or after an afternoon nap. Better to know what is best for the resident than to have your visit cause problems.
- Consider visiting during mealtime. If your loved one agrees, and if the facility allows, you may want to visit during lunch or dinner. Call the facility in advance to find out the process, how much they charge, and other details. Some residents like being able to introduce family to their nursing home friends while sharing a meal. Alternatively, offer to take your loved one out for a meal.
- Don’t visit if you are sick. While having a cold might not stop you from doing your other daily activities, the elderly have weak immune systems. Something as simple as the common cold could turn into pneumonia, and could actually be fatal for some elderly people. Instead, make the visit by phone, and visit in person when you are totally healthy.
- Even if you are healthy, wash your hands before you enter the facility, and after you leave.
- Bring comfort food. Again, call in advance and speak with both the resident and the nursing staff. The staff can tell you if there are certain foods that are restricted for your loved one’s diet (for example, you wouldn’t want to bring salty foods to a person with high blood pressure), and the resident can tell you which foods he or she particularly likes or dislikes.
- Ask if there are other items you can bring. Nursing home residents can’t just hop in the car and go get anything they want. Your visit could be a lifeline to favorite items, such as lotions, clothing, videos, music, soft blankets, etc. If you bring an item, consider putting the resident’s name on it.
- Ask the resident how he or she would like to spend the time. Consider a hand massage, reviewing a photo album, listening to music, watching a video or TV show together, or making crafts. Some residents will be happy to see the gadgets you have in your pocket (cell phone, ipod, etc.). If you run out of ideas, ask the activities director.
- Connect family members digitally. Call the facility to ask if wireless service is available. If so, you can bring a laptop or iPad to arrange for distant family members to say hello via Skype, FaceTime, or similar services.
- Thank the nursing staff—many are working extra shifts or giving up holiday time with their own families to care for residents.