Types of Abuse at Oklahoma City Nursing Homes
As your loved ones age, it can be difficult to give them the quality of care that they may need. That is why many people turn to nursing homes as an alternative. The expectation is that nursing homes will care for your loved ones and ensure that they are healthy and happy.
Nursing homes must provide an adequate level of care. It is set forth by federal and state guidelines, and residents of nursing homes have the right to expect it. If one of your loved ones has suffered one or many of the different types of abuse at Oklahoma City nursing homes, you should consult a determined nursing home abuse attorney. Your attorney could dedicate themselves to protecting you or your loved ones from abuse, helping them get compensation for physical and/or emotional injuries, and holding all responsible parties accountable.
One of the types of abuse at Oklahoma City nursing homes is physical abuse. Withholding basic needs, such as food, water, medication or proper hygiene, is one of the more common forms of physical abuse. This can lead to serious medical problems: malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, even death. Another common problem at nursing homes is inadequate safety measures that can cause slip and fall injuries. Unsafe conditions include:
- Wet or cluttered floors
- Lack of bed rails
- Lack of assistive rails in restrooms and/or hallways
- Inadequate supervision and/or a poorly trained staff
- Poorly maintained wheelchairs
- Over-medication, under-medication, or inappropriate medication
- Unsecured windows and doors
Tragically, physical assault by both nursing home staff and other residents is not at all uncommon in nursing homes, resulting in head injuries, lacerations, broken bones, or worse. Many injuries are not obvious. They can be hidden by clothing, or difficult to find if the victim is bedridden. Nursing home staff have been known to explain injuries away by saying they resulted from an accident, which of course, they deny responsibility for.
Another one of the types of abuse at Oklahoma City nursing homes is financial abuse. When a person takes the money or property of a nursing home resident without consent and/or the intent to defraud the resident, it is considered financial abuse. In some cases, the lack of consent is the result of the resident’s incapacity, but it is also possible that the resident is being threatened, manipulated, or deceived. Examples of nursing home financial abuse include cashing checks without the victim’s authorization, forging of a signature, outright theft of money or belongings, and fraudulently convincing the victim to sign a will, contract or some other document.
While emotional abuse may not result in physical injury, in many ways it is one of the cruelest and most psychologically damaging forms of nursing home abuse. Cursing at, insulting and criticizing a resident, as well as the use of humiliation, insults, and threats, are all considered forms of emotional abuse and should be addressed with the help of an Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyer.
One of the types of abuse at Oklahoma City nursing homes that do not get discussed as much is sexual abuse. Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to sexual predators. Sadly, they make relatively easy targets from sexual abuse at the hands of other residents, visitors and even staff. Sexual abuse can be defined as inappropriate touching or any unwanted sexual activity. Examples include sexual harassment, unwanted kissing and/or touching, making a resident look at pornography, and of course, touching the victim’s genitals and/or raping the victim.
In 2007, more than 90 percent of nursing homes were cited for federal health and safety violations, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Statistics for actual instances of abuse are harder to come by, for several reasons. Victims often fear that if they tell anyone, even a loved one, the situation will get even worse. Or, in some cases, the victims are unable to make a complaint. Not surprisingly, nursing homes are reluctant to reveal their records. In addition, symptoms of abuse may not be easy to detect unless an individual knows what they are looking for.
Value of an Oklahoma City Nursing Abuse Attorney
If you have been victimized by nursing home abuse, or think that someone you care about has been abused, please contact an attorney as soon as possible. Nursing home abuse attorneys could help you put an end to the abuse and get compensation for injuries resulting from it.
If you or a loved one has been subjected to abuse of any kind, contact a lawyer immediately and know that you are in capable hands.