Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys in St. Joseph, MO
Advocating for those without a voice in Missouri
One of the most vulnerable groups in our society is the elderly population. When a senior enters a nursing home, it can be for a variety of reasons including companionship or medical concerns. It is expected that their emotional, physical, and medical needs will be met when they reside in a nursing home. More and more seniors are entering nursing homes across the country. Since this is a new trend, it is important that these seniors and their loved ones are aware of the risks of abuse and negligence.
The unfortunate truth is that nursing homes do not always provide the care and compassion that seniors need. If your senior nursing home resident has suffered from abuse or neglect you should contact a St. Joseph nursing home abuse & neglect attorney from Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys. We can help you seek justice on behalf of your loved one.
What kinds of abuse occur in St. Joseph nursing homes?
There are several types of nursing home abuse or neglect your senior loved one may endure. While physical is where the average person’s mind goes, there are others that may not be as common. The National Center on Elder Abuse describes the following types of abuse seniors suffer from:
Physical abuse: This relates to any force that is used to cause bodily injury, physical pain, or even an impairment on another person. There are signs you can look for that can constitute nursing home abuse such as:
- Black eyes
- Broken or fractured bones
- Sudden change in behavior
- Bruises, cuts, or unusual marks
- Untreated injuries, open wounds, or punctures
- Irregular medication dosages
- The nursing home staff refused to allow visitors
- The senior explicitly stated that there was abuse.
Most often this will result from hitting, punching, pinching, slapping, shaking, and even burning a senior resident. This is unacceptable and very often intentional behavior that should be addressed by contacting a St. Joseph’s nursing home abuse & neglect attorney.
Emotional abuse: Nursing home residents should be emotionally and physically taken care of, not abused. There are signs you can look for that can mean they are being abused such as:
- Treating the resident as a child
- Verbal assault
- Withdrawal from the senior
- Isolation of the senior from other residents and loved ones
- The senior reporting the emotional or psychological abuse
This abuse may result in the senior suffering from anxiety or other mental health issues as a result.
Sexual abuse: This is often unimaginable for many loved ones, but it is a very real danger. This is any sexual act that one party has forced another to participate in without their consent. Signs that you can look for are:
- Unexplained STDs
- Torn or bloody clothing
- Cuts and bruises around the vaginal, penis, or anal areas
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- The senior reporting sexual abuse
This form of abuse is often seen as rape, sexually explicit photos, sodomy, and forced nudity. This is one of the most traumatic situations a person or elder will ever go through.
Financial abuse: Since seniors are often not able to handle their own finances the way they once used to, nursing home staff may take advantage of them. The seniors believe they can trust the staff as they are their caretakers and instead, they are shocked to find out that all their money is gone. Some signs of financial abuse include:
- Unpaid bills
- Large bank withdrawal
- Loss of possessions such as heirlooms and other valuables
- Adding a staff member's name to bank accounts and wills
- The senior reporting suspicion of final abuse
Financial abuse will leave traces for loved ones and a St. Joseph nursing home abuse & neglect attorney to follow. Some examples of financial abuse include:
- Cashing checks that the senior is unaware of
- Not consulting with the senior’s family about financial transactions and decisions
- Power of attorney being changed to a staff member's name without authorization from relevant parties.
Whoever has access to the senior's accounts should keep a close eye on them to ensure there are no unauthorized or strange transactions.
What is nursing home neglect?
Neglect is a form of nursing home abuse, though it is not always malicious in nature. Seniors – especially those who can no longer care for themselves – need a lot of attention. When a facility or staff ignores these needs, or fails to provide them with sanitary living conditions, it is neglect. The signs may include:
- Unsafe living conditions
- Malnutrition/ dehydration
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Bedsores resulting from dirty sheets, dirty clothing, or the failure to rotate immobile residents
- Poor personal hygiene
- Sudden onset of cognitive difficulties
- The senior residents reporting abuse which goes unheeded
There are many reasons why nursing homes experience abuse and neglect towards their seniors, most of which are preventable. Some common causes include:
- Not vetting new staff
- Not appropriately responding to complaints
- Failing to train nursing home staff on safety procedures
- Medical neglect
- Failing to monitor staff and their performance
- Negligent security
There are many other reasons that abuse, and neglect can occur in a nursing home. If your loved one is being abused, you will need to contact our St. Joseph nursing home abuse & neglect attorney.
What is the nursing home bill of rights?
There is a nursing home bill of rights that has been established on a federal level by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). There are also individual state nursing home resident bills of rights. They often cover issues such as:
- The right to a representative
- Freedom from abuse and neglect
- The right to be treated with respect
- Freedom from discrimination
- The ability to spend time with other residents and visitors
You can find the full list of senior rights here.
Who can be held liable for nursing home abuse and neglect in St. Joseph?
There are several parties that can be held liable for nursing home abuse. It will be crucial to have a St. Joseph nursing home abuse & neglect attorney on your side to determine who the liable party is. Some examples of liable parties include:
- Nursing home staff
- Doctors and medical personnel
- Nursing home builders
- Maintenance or repair companies
- Defective product manufacturers
- Other residents
Do not try to hold these parties liable on your own; contact a St. Joseph nursing injury attorney immediately.
What are possible types of compensation for nursing home cases?
While compensation is not something that many families are after, it can be the result of a case. It is important to file for damages as this is often the only way to show negligent parties that they must be held accountable for their actions. Examples of damages and compensation a St. Joseph nursing home abuse & neglect attorney will seek include:
- Medical care that resulted from the abuse
- The serious pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Any other financial losses incurred from abuse or neglect
Do you have a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney near me?
Our St. Joseph office is located at 2501 Frederick Avenue Suite 100 by appointment. We also see clients throughout Missouri and Kansas.
Contact a St. Joseph nursing home abuse & neglect attorney today
Each case of abuse is unique and not every case will go down the same path. This is why you should consult with Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys to discuss your legal options. Call us at 816-471-5111, or complete our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation with a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in St. Joseph.
St. Joseph Office
2501 Frederick Avenue,
St. Joseph, MO 64506