Nursing home abuse

Kansas City Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys

Our legal team puts victims of nursing home negligence and their families first

Some say the moral and ethical fiber of a society can be judged by the way it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members. Despite this imperative, the sad fact of the matter is that elder abuse and neglect is a serious issue in our aging population. This is particularly true in nursing home settings. With the increasing number of elderly persons entering nursing homes, it’s important to recognize and address negligence immediately.

Seniors reside in nursing homes for companionship in their old age and for a group environment dedicated to their physical and emotional care. Sadly, too many nursing homes fail to protect their residents. At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, our lawyers have been dedicated to asserting senior care rights for 30 years. We file personal injury claims against nursing homes and staff members who physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially abuse seniors. We also file negligence claims when nursing homes fail to comply with acceptable nursing home standards.

What are the different types of nursing home abuse?

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), senior citizens in Missouri or Kansas may be subject to the following types of abuse:

Physical abuse

This conduct is the use of any force that may cause physical pain, bodily injury, or an impairment. Examples include punching, hitting, pushing, shaking, kicking, slapping, and burning a senior. Physical abuse also includes failing to administer the medications the resident needs or improper use of physical restraints. Some of the obvious (and less obvious) signs of physical abuse family members and friends should look for include:

  • Black eyes, bruises, cuts, or restraint marks.
  • Broken bones and fractured skulls.
  • Open wounds, punctures, and untreated injuries.
  • Sprains any signs of bleeding or internal injuries.
  • Broken eyeglasses.
  • Irregularities in medication dosages.
  • Statements by the senior of physical abuse.
  • Sudden change in behavior.
  • Refusal by the nursing home staff to let a visitor see the senior alone.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is defined as non-consensual sexual contact. Many seniors are unable to give consent due to physical or mental infirmity. Sexual abuse includes rape, forced nudity, sexually explicit photos, sodomy, and battery. Signs of sexual abuse include:

  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding.
  • Torn or bloody clothing.
  • STDs.
  • Bruises and cuts around the sexual parts of the body.
  • Reports of sexual abuse by the senior.

Emotional and psychological abuse in nursing homes

Emotional abuse includes inflicting pain or anxiety by either verbal or nonverbal acts. Signs and examples of psychological abuse include:

  • Intimidation.
  • Verbal assaults.
  • Silent treatment.
  • Isolation of an elder resident from other nursing home members, family, or friends.
  • Treating the resident like a child.
  • Seniors who withdraw or disengage.
  • Unusual behavior such as sucking or rocking.
  • A report by the senior of psychological abuse.

Financial abuse in nursing homes

Nursing homes and staff members may try to take advantage of the trust of seniors. Examples of financial abuse include:

  • Unauthorized powers of attorney or wills in favor of a staff member.
  • Cashing checks without permission from the senior.
  • Forgery.
  • Stealing.
  • Failure to consult with the senior’s guardian or conservator.

Signs of financial abuse:

  • Unusual or large bank withdrawals.
  • Adding the name of a staff member on accounts.
  • Loss of treasured possessions.
  • Unpaid bills.
  • Unusual interest in the senior by relatives who had little or no contact with the senior before.
  • A report of financial abuse by the senior.

What are the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect?

Some of the indicators a nursing home is abusing or neglecting a senior include:

  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Untreated bedsores.
  • Unaddressed health issues.
  • Unsafe living conditions.
  • Unsanitary living conditions.
  • A report by an elder of neglect.

Some of the reasons nursing homes fail to protect their residents include:

  • Not following COVID-19 protocols.
  • Not running background checks on new staff applicants.
  • Not responding to complaints about current or former staff members.
  • Failing to train nursing home staff about safety requirements and the rights of the residents.
  • Not having enough staff.
  • Failure to handle medications properly – not dispensing the medications, giving the wrong medications, or giving the wrong doses.
  • Failure to hire competent security.
  • Medical neglect.
  • Noncompliance with local, state, and federal building codes and safety regulations.
  • Failing to monitor staff performance.
  • Not responding to complaints by seniors or members of their family.

If you believe your loved one is suffering abuse or neglect in a nursing home or facility, the team at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys can help.

What is the Nursing Home Bill of Rights?

Nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicare payments – which is most of them – are required to inform their residents of their rights. These guaranteed rights include the following, among others:

  • Freedom from abuse and neglect.
  • Freedom from discrimination.
  • The right to be treated with respect.
  • The right not to be restrained and to receive proper medical care.
  • The right to contact a representative.
  • The right to spend time with visitors and other residents.

Missouri and Kansas each have their own nursing home resident Bill of Rights.

Who is liable when my loved one is injured in a nursing home?

Generally, nursing homes are liable for their own conduct and the conduct of their employees. At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we diligently review any complaints about nursing home care with the resident, family members, and other residents. We work with investigators and conduct extensive discovery, including searching for any other complaints about the nursing home from other residents or by the state.

Other possible defendants may include:

  • Nursing home staff members.
  • Visitors or trespassers.
  • Nursing home oversight committees who failed to properly monitor the nursing home.
  • Builders who designed the nursing home without regard to the safety of the residents.
  • Maintenance or repair companies.
  • Manufacturers of defective products that may have caused a senior’s injuries.

What is the value of my Kansas City nursing home abuse and neglect case?

Our Missouri and Kansas nursing home lawyers file wrongful death claims if a beloved family member dies due to abuse or neglect. On behalf of living seniors, we file claims for damages – making it clear that the life of a senior is just as precious and deserving of respect and compensation as any younger person. Damages in nursing home cases include:

  • The senior’s physical pain and emotional suffering.
  • The cost of all necessary medical care including surgeries, doctor visits, therapy, medical devices, assistive devices, and medications.
  • Any financial losses.
  • Punitive damages for any abuse.

Help protect yourself and your loved one by downloading a free copy of our book, “Nursing Home Neglect - How To Recognize And Stop It” today!

Although legal action may not be warranted in every situation, where serious injury or abuse has occurred, often, it’s the only way that such problems can be appropriately investigated and addressed.

Our Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to help

For more than 30 years, Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys have represented clients throughout Missouri and Kansas. An initial consultation regarding your case is free. We will fully explain all fees and costs to you before we start working on your case. Together, as a team, we will decide the best tactics for your case. You and your case are our number-one priority.

To learn more about our services, or to get a free case review, please call 816-471-5111 or fill out our contact form. We have locations in Kansas City, Lee's Summit, St. Joseph, and Olathe, MO, and in Overland Park and Parkville, KS, and represent people throughout Kansas and Missouri.

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