What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect happen all too often in licensed care facilities—the precise places we trust to care for our loved ones. It’s been estimated that a staggering 1 in 10 seniors in the United States are victims of elder abuse.
While some issues stem from individual caretakers, elder abuse and neglect are far more often the result of systemic failures that occur when large corporations cut staff and salaries in an effort to move their bottom line. Staffing is often the biggest expense a nursing home faces, and the cost-saving choices can come at the expense of residents.
Nursing home negligence can cause catastrophic results for patients, from broken bones and other fall injuries to bedsores, malnutrition, infections, and even death. If you suspect nursing home neglect, it’s important to consult a qualified legal team right away. While many incidents are wrongly covered up as accidental falls, unavoidable bedsores, or are written off as a product of old age, Yarborough Applegate’s team of nursing home abuse attorneys has the skill and experience to know the difference—and we will advocate aggressively on your behalf to find answers and a resolution.
Attorney Perry Buckner has spent much of his professional career handling nursing home litigation. In fact, prior to joining Yarborough Applegate last year, he spent nearly a decade defending nursing homes and healthcare providers—an experience he draws upon now in handling cases for clients injured due to nursing home abuse and neglect.
“What I have learned is that one of this country’s dirty secrets is the way our elderly are treated in nursing homes, most frequently those buildings that receive an overwhelming majority of Medicare patients,” Buckner says. “All too often, the frail and the elderly are relegated to the back of the bus when it comes to receiving quality healthcare in nursing homes. The crucial evidence in these cases is not always found in the medical or nursing chart. Increasingly, these cases are about what is located in the cost reports and the budget. Our firm takes nothing for granted in investigating and trying these cases.”
Elders are a particularly vulnerable population to abuse and neglect. Chronic disease may limit physical and/or cognitive functioning, making a person dependent on others. And if abuse is occurring, a senior may be unable to report the behavior or avoid doing so out of fear of retaliation or other negative consequences.
“Because of the vulnerable status of most nursing home residents, not all potential cases are obvious. It’s not like a traffic collision or a work injury where you know you are going to need a lawyer,” Buckner says. “When a nursing home resident suffers an injury, it’s important to ask tough questions about your loved one’s care and if you don’t get clear, factual answers, you need to consult with a lawyer. Our firm has a track record of achieving not only great results in these cases but also ensuring that any settlements include policy changes or new training for employees.”
If you’ve seen signs of abuse or negligence toward a loved one in a nursing home, we’re here to help. Contact us today.