Your Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Asheville, NC
Or Visit One of Our Lawyers in Bristol, TN
At Large and Associates we believe it is the duty of everyone who visits a nursing home to help police the system. While there are many fine nursing facilities, it is equally true that state and federal budget cuts, for-profit homes operated by large companies, crowding, dementia and mental health issues, poorly paid and trained staff, and a host of other issues all too often leave our most vulnerable adults exposed to neglect and abuse. It is important when choosing a nursing home in Bristol, Johnson City or Kingsport, Tennessee to visit the home and look on the medicare.gov site to compare homes. The same is true for nursing homes in Southwest Virginia or the greater Asheville, North Carolina area.
Nursing home neglect can include failure to assist residents with body positioning, which can lead to bed sores, muscle and joint problems, and other health complications; lack of toileting or changing disposable garments; failure to assist with proper nourishment; failure to provide opportunities for walking or other light exercise; lack of bathing; failure to provide assistance with participating in activities; ignoring bells or cries for help; and failure to properly medicate or overmedicating.
In recent years we have seen some of the above problems in combination lead to terrible consequences. For example, several nursing homes in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee have become short staffed and have allowed residents that need more than one nursing assistant’s help when bathing, to fall due to only one assistant being available. In one instance at a local facility something as simple as hydration was not met due to staff not seeing that a weak resident drank water. This in turn caused her kidneys to shut down.
Tragically, many neglect and abuse cases go unreported because of dementia, a fear of retaliation or because a neglected or abused senior doesn’t want to burden family members with the problem.
Abuse is the intentional cause of harm or pain to a resident in a nursing facility and can include physical, mental, verbal or psychological abuse as well as sexual abuse, corporal punishment, intimidation or unreasonable seclusion.
- Physical abuse: Can include a staff member, visitor, other resident or intruder and can involve hitting, pinching, shoving, force-feeding, slapping, spitting, punching or scratching.
- Psychological or emotional abuse: Includes berating, yelling, cursing, ignoring, ridiculing, threatening or other forms of deprivation or punishment.
- Sexual abuse: Includes improper touching or coercion to perform sex acts.
- Misappropriate or theft of money or property: Failure to place a resident’s funds in separate interest-bearing accounts when required, or the theft or embezzlement of money or property.
Signs of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia nursing home neglect or abuse:
- Unexplained or repeated instances of cuts, burns, bruises, or fractures in various stages of healing
- Venereal disease or infection; bleeding, stained, torn or bloody underclothing
- Frozen joints and bed sores
- Unexplained or sudden changes in behavior
- Staff not permitting visitors or unexplained delays in permitting visitors to see residents
- Staff refusing to allow visitors to be alone with residents
- Residents kept in an over-medicated state
- Unexplained changes in banking activity or abrupt changes in wills or other documents
Adapted from information provided by the Elder Abuse Foundation.