How to Take Action Against Nursing Home Abuse
In the state of Louisiana, there are laws in place that help protect individuals who cannot defend themselves. Unfortunately, Louisiana also has one of the worst rates of nursing home abuse in the United States. Nursing home abuse refers to physical or mental injuries that are inflicted on adults in the care of a nursing home by other parties. It includes, but is not limited to, violence, sexual abuse, isolation, exploitation, and extortion.
Things to Look Out For
Nursing home abuse does not only result from intentional acts of violence. Undertrained, underqualified or overworked employees can create accidental or purposeful health hazards that can endanger those in their care. Nursing home negligence due to understaffing or distractions is not an excuse when it comes to keeping your loved one safe. Falls that occur due to poor supervision or poorly maintained facilities can result in the loss of mobility and even death. Pressure sores, which are particularly prevalent among those in nursing homes, occur when a bedridden or chair-bound individual is not moved often enough. If not treated immediately, these sores can fester and cause permanent damage to tissue, bones and organs. Malnutrition and dehydration are also common in nursing homes. It is the responsibility of the staff to ensure residents are properly nourished. Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s or forms of dementia are prone to wandering. The nursing home staff is responsible for preventing this. If they cannot prevent it at all times, they are responsible for minimizing anything that could potentially harm wandering residents. Unnecessary restrains, intentional prevention of contact with family members, or neglect are also illegal.
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse while in a nursing home, call 911. Louisiana law requires any claims of nursing home abuse or neglect to be investigated by local or state law enforcement.
In addition to this, document everything. Gather as many facts and pieces of evidence as possible. Pressure sores, bruising, and other physical issues should be photographed. Record the dates you saw them, the severity and any information you find important. Record the names of any staff members who have cared for your loved one. Look into other allegations of neglect against the facility. Be calm and professional in discussions with the staff and speak with a manager or supervisor if you feel something is wrong.
Contact an Attorney
Your loved one is no longer able to care for themselves as they once could. If you feel nursing home abuse is occurring, please contact an attorney. Calling 911 is not the only means of ensuring your loved one’s case is heard. Protecting them will likely help others as well. Contact us today!