Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Elm City 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 Elm City, 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 Elm City, 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 members 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 Elm City, 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 Elm City, 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 Elm City, 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 Elm City, 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.
Click here to view the most up to date list of regional ombudsman offices 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.
Click here to learn more about North Carolina Ombudsman services.
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 Elm City, 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 Elm City, 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.
What Nursing Home Administrators in Elm City Won’t Tell You
- “We’re careless about the drugs we give out.” Some nursing homes have been cited for unnecessary drug use, use of antipsychotic medications among residents who are not psychotic, and overdosing residents so that they are easier to care for. We have seen this locally, when Britthaven of Chapel Hill nursing home was reported to be the subject of investigation when residents were given narcotic medications without a prescription, leading to the death of one patient.
- “If it’s not in the care plan, we’re not gonna do it.” The federal government requires a care plan for each resident, which outlines how the resident should be cared for. Even if something is on the care plan, nursing homes can neglect the promised duties… but if a particular aspect of care is not on the plan, forget about it. Don’t assume anything.
- “‘Neglect’ is our middle name.” When nursing home residents are neglected, they can suffer from dehydration, pressure sores, malnutrition, disease, and sometimes death.
- “We use physical restraints on your loved ones.” Restraints are allowed as a method of last resort to keep a loved one safe or protect others. But that doesn’t mean that use of restraints isn’t abused, and can lead to depression, agitation, bruising, and other physical problems.
- “Fines? Go ahead–give us your best shot.” When a nursing home doesn’t meet standards, it can be fined… but that doesn’t mean that the money will ever be collected. The facility can appeal the the citation and fine, or find other ways to avoid paying. Plus, corporations that own and operate nursing homes at the highest levels (because there are often shell companies that are the “face” of each facility) are usually so flush with cash that a little fine is barely noticed.
HensonFuerst is an avid supporter of nursing home residents and their families. Our lawyers have been involved in some groundbreaking litigation that have made residents safer, and we continue to work for the benefit of the “little guy” against corporations who abuse and neglect senior citizens. If you think your loved one is being abused in a nursing home and you don’t know what to do, contact HensonFuerst. If you have questions, we have answers.