Nursing home abuse and negligence are far too common in today’s society, yet they occur with greater frequency as more and more people need the care that nursing homes and assisted living facilities provide. Although generally preventable with proper care, injuries caused by negligence at nursing homes, assisted living and long-term care facilities often occur due to staff shortages, inexperienced staff or failure to provide appropriate care to residents.
The majority of long-term care facilities in Oklahoma are for-profit corporations that often put their bottom line above patient safety, care and respect. Sadly, due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, fear or poor memory, many nursing homes patients simply don’t have the faculties to tell their loved ones that they are being abused or neglected.
The lawyers at Burch, George & Germany, P.C., are prepared to fight for the rights of some of the most vulnerable members of society. We have the experience and financial resources to take on the large and powerful companies that own many nursing homes in order to recover compensation for those who have suffered inadequate care or abuse in what is supposed to be a safe place.
Types of nursing home abuse and negligence often found in Oklahoma nursing homes
While physical abuse of residents is certainly one type of nursing home negligence, it’s actually neglect that causes the majority of injuries. Some common types of nursing home injuries include:
- Bed sores. Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers, result from the unrelieved pressure of remaining in the same position for hours or even days. While patients are supposed to be moved frequently, this doesn’t always occur, and these types of injuries are extremely common. Bed sores have several degrees of severity. Severe bed sores can result in wounds that penetrate the skin and muscle and result in serious infection and death.
- Falls. Falling is a common form of injury in nursing homes due to advanced age, mobility limitations and weakened faculties. Although falling can result in broken bones, the opposite is also true. Weakened bones often break due to osteoporosis and can cause a patient to fall, resulting in further injury. There have been numerous reports of incidents involving nursing home patients whose fall has gone undetected for hours because staff has neglected to check on them at regular intervals.
- Malnutrition and dehydration. The dietary needs of nursing home patients are often neglected, especially when their mental faculties are compromised and they cannot communicate adequately. The lack of food and water can lead to malnutrition and dehydration, both of which can weaken the immune system and increase the likelihood of illness or death.
- Chemical restraint. This involves the improper, medically unnecessary and illegal use of antipsychotic drugs in order to make a nursing home patient more sedate or easier to control.
- Physical abuse. Physical abuse can include any sort of contact with a resident that results in physical injuries. Common examples include slapping, pushing, hitting or kicking.
- Verbal abuse. Emotional abuse can be very harmful to a nursing home resident. Mental or verbal abuse can include isolation, making threats, making rude or vulgar comments or otherwise causing emotional harm.
- Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can involve any unwanted or uninvited sexual contact with a nursing home resident who either does not give consent or who cannot give consent as a result of an impaired mental state.
Some of the key warning signs of nursing home negligence or abuse include:
- Open wounds, cuts, bruises or welts.
- Bed sores.
- Sudden changes in weight.
- Torn clothing.
- Complaints about mistreatment.
- Extreme agitation or unusual withdrawal.
- Unusual and new behavior, such as sucking, biting or rocking.
- Use of physical restraints, or bruises around legs or arms that suggest the use of restraints.
- Neglected personal hygiene.
- Unusually pale skin.
- Sudden change in medication or dosage, particularly sedatives.
- Nursing home staff who can’t properly explain a resident’s physical condition.
- Nursing home staff who discourage family members from visiting with the resident alone.
- Residents that wander from the facility because of poor supervision.
Our Oklahoma nursing home abuse attorneys can help secure nursing home abuse compensation
If your loved one has been injured due to nursing home abuse, neglect or negligence, contact Burch, George & Germany, P.C., to discuss your situation. We offer free consultations that can help you determine whether your loved one might have legal recourse against a facility, its employees or medical staff and the types of damages your family might be entitled to.
Our Oklahoma nursing home abuse lawyer has years of experience, access to well-qualified and highly respected experts and an expansive network of nationwide contacts. All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that we earn a fee only if clients receive compensation. We advance all litigation expenses. Most importantly, we have the solid financial resources to ensure that we can – and will – do everything it takes to succeed at trial.
Contact our nursing home abuse lawyer at Burch, George & Germany, P.C.
How can Burch, George & Germany, P.C., help you with your Oklahoma nursing home abuse and negligence case? Contact us today to find out.
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