Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Pressure Injuries (Bed Sores)
Pressure Injuries are a common result of Nursing Home Abuse. When nurses or nurses’ aides fail to turn and reposition the residents under their care, the pressure on the resident’s skin can cause a Pressure Injury. After a prolonged period of a facility’s failure to turn and reposition its resident, these small wounds can develop very quickly into necrotic gaping wounds. The lawyers at Eric J. Hertz P.C. firmly believe that a resident’s wound should never get to this point.
There are many different reasons why a nursing facility will fail to turn and reposition their resident. One of the major reasons a nursing home fails to prevent these Pressure Injuries is severe understaffing. Severe understaffing is a preventable and inexcusable failure that can lead to an elderly person developing Pressure Injuries. Nursing homes commonly experience understaffing because of their failure to budget enough for wages to hire the proper number of qualified workers, failure to screen and dismiss unqualified personnel, and financial motivation to implement profit targets that are unrealistic and unattainable.
When a nursing home is severely understaffed, nurses and aides are forced to care for far too many residents at one time. Their failure to comply with the impracticable expectations set by management causes them to feel defeated and work with less care. Nursing home understaffing is a top-down problem, and it is one of the leading causes of the development of fatal Pressure Injuries.
Certain policies and procedures set out by nursing home management worsen the development of Pressure Injuries. These worsening factors include a nursing home’s failure to provide nutrition that is necessary to maintaining healthy skin integrity for residents, failures to change soiled diapers, failures to clean sheets and clothing, failures to identify residents’ risk of pressure wound development, etc.
In addition to turning and repositioning a resident, there are many procedures and actions a nursing facility can take to prevent this issue. These include promptly updating care plans, purchasing better mattresses and sheets, implementing air mattresses and heel floaters, etc.
Unnecessary and avoidable Falls are common abuses that often go unnoticed and unrectified. In many instances, a nurse or aide will not see a Fall occur even though the Fall could have been prevented. Falls in dementia patients are especially a problem because of the residents’ tendency to wander. Nursing homes frequently ignore or fail to detect the key warning signs that an elderly person is a high fall-risk. Falls in elderly residents pose a huge risk of severe injury because of issues such as low muscle/fat content and weak bones. Unfortunately, frequent Falls caused by a careless nursing staff often lead to the unnecessary death of a loved-one.
The main reasons why nursing homes fail to prevent preventable Falls are poor record keeping and an absence of care plan continuity. In many nursing homes, facilities keep difficult-to-access records for their nurses and aides. On top of that, the nurses are so rushed for time that they often fail to write important information down or fail to check a resident’s chart. In some nursing homes, the records are handwritten on a single copy, making it very difficult for multiple nurses to use the charts effectively. This failed system leads to the facility’s failure to prevent a resident from wandering and/or falling.
The lawyers at Eric J. Hertz P.C. are experienced in handling Fall cases. If you or a loved-one suffered an unnecessary Fall at a nursing home, call the attorneys at Eric J. Hertz P.C. and we will guide you through the issues of your case.
Malnutrition and Dehydration are some of the most inhumane forms of abuse caused by a nursing facility. Malnutrition and Dehydration occur when a nursing facility fails to feed and hydrate its residents. Food and water are basic human needs that should not be denied. The reasons why these abuses occur are more complicated than one might initially assume. Malnutrition can commonly occur because of a variety of reasons including food fright and a resident’s inability to open his or her mouth. Dehydration can occur for the same reasons. Patients’ conditions are worsened due to the fact that nurses and aides often are not given enough time to ensure every resident eats their food and drinks their water. The management of the facilities forces the aides and nurses to work on an impossible schedule, and this causes residents who have trouble eating and drinking on their own to suffer.
Cases of Malnutrition and Dehydration are very complicated and require the experience of a skilled attorney to understand. If you have any questions about whether your loved-one’s Dehydration and Malnutrition is due to abuse, call the lawyers at Eric J. Hertz P.C.
Urinary Tract Infections/Failure to change
A Urinary Tract Infection is often a result of a nursing staff’s failure to change their residents in a timely manner. Many residents are forced to sit for hours in their soiled diapers without any ability to change themselves independently. To make matters worse, some nursing staff will deliberately ignore changing a resident and/or answering his or her call light. They do this because they had recently changed the resident and do not want to do it again or are fed up with the amount of diapers they have to change. We believe this to be inexcusable behavior.
Many Urinary Tract Infections are easily identifiable by the distinct smell they produce. However, time and time again, these infections are not treated until it is too late. In many instances, these infections lead to a septic infection which ultimately leads to the resident’s death.
The attorneys at Eric J. Hertz P.C. have handled many Urinary Tract Infection cases. Call us today if you need assistance in handling your situation.
Assaults at nursing homes are more common than most people think. A nursing home has a duty to prevent any foreseeable Assault from occurring to one of their residents regardless of who commits it. Many people are unaware that a nursing home is responsible for other residents assaulting one of their residents, especially when there is a pattern of it happening.
Nursing homes are also required to prevent foreseeable Assaults by non-employees. In other cases, a member of the nursing staff will actually assault residents out of frustration or sometimes malice. Because of the busy schedule of a nursing home employee and their duty to care for sufferers of dementia who are incapable of controlling sometimes inappropriate behaviors, nurses sometimes lose their temper and hit residents. These cases of assault rarely get reported to the proper authorities and the resident’s families. To make matters worse, few people believe the patients who suffer from dementia and their stories because of their mental condition. Because of this, it is always important to report any instance of assault even if you are not 100% sure of its validity. It is never okay for anyone to hit a resident. If you contact the attorneys at Eric J. Hertz P.C. we will kindly guide you through these issues.
Financial Abuse is a real problem in nursing homes, but it often goes unnoticed. There are many types of Financial Abuse that can occur at a nursing home. Examples include stealing money, credit cards, and jewelry, as well as accessing bank accounts and manipulating wills. Many attorneys are unaware of the issue of financial abuse in nursing homes. The attorneys at Eric J. Hertz P.C. are experts in this issue and can help you work through your situation.
Types of Nursing Home Claims
Below is a list of some of the potential claims that can be alleged against a nursing home. It is important to seek out an attorney that is an experienced expert in all of the nuances of these claims. If you have any questions about any of these claims, call us now and one of our attorneys will assist you in understanding these complex issues.
List of potential claims:
- Gross Negligence
- Professional Negligence
- Ordinary Negligence
- Negligence Per Se
- Intentional Conduct- I.E. Rape and Assault
- Negligent Hiring and Retention
- Breach of Contract
- Violation of GA Elderly Bill of Rights
- Wrongful Death
- Punitive Damages
Nursing Standard of Care
Nurses have to follow professional standards of care when caring for their residents. Many of the requirements that nursing homes must comply with are set out by statutes or by regulatory agencies. Understanding the requirements of the Nursing Standard of Care is an essential part of bringing an action against a nursing home. The attorneys at Eric J. Hertz P.C. are highly familiar with these standards of care and have access to many nursing experts. If you want to learn more about how the Nursing Standard of Care affects your case, one of the lawyers at Eric J. Hertz P.C. will guide you through it.
What Can I Do If My Loved-One is Being Abused?
The best thing to do if you suspect that your loved-one is suffering from or has suffered from Nursing Home Abuse is to contact a qualified and high-profile attorney who is experienced with handling Nursing Home Abuse claims. The attorneys at Eric J. Hertz P.C. have spent years fighting for the rights of the elderly and nursing home residents. Our attorneys can talk with you about:
- How to file complaints to the government
- How to switch nursing homes
- The best way to care for your loved-one
- How to bring a civil claim against a nursing home
- How to order medical records
- Et cetera
How Do I Switch Nursing Homes?
Switching nursing homes can be a big change not only for the resident, but also for the resident’s families. It can also be hard for many people to understand because of the complicated contracts and laws surrounding things like power of attorney. If you need help switching nursing homes because you believe there is abuse occurring, then call the lawyers at Eric J. Hertz P.C. and we will guide you through this difficult process.
When Do I Need to File Suit?
Almost every claim in the law has something called a Statute of Limitations (Sol). A Statute of Limitations gives people a timeframe to bring a suit against a wrongdoer. After that time period has expired, the injured person or their representative is no longer allowed to bring a suit. The law on Statute of Limitations can be different in Nursing Home Abuse claims than it is in more traditional negligence claims. Call the attorneys at Eric J. Hertz P.C. if you have any questions about the Statute of Limitations on your case.
What If My Loved-one Died From Abuse?
If your loved-one dies from Nursing Home Abuse, you may be entitled to recover for the loss of their life under the Wrongful Death Act. The Wrongful Death Act was enacted to help compensate family members for the loss of a loved-one. The attorneys at Eric J. Hertz P.C. are experienced with the nuances of the Wrongful Death Act and have been helping people recover under it for decades.
Why do I feel Guilty?
Many people feel guilty after their loved-one died in a nursing home. However, this guilt is often misplaced, and those people are often suffering from something called survivor’s guilt. Survivor’s guilt occurs when a person feels guilty after a loved-one dies, but they did not do anything wrong to deserve the guilt. It is a common occurrence in nursing home cases. If you have any questions about survivor’s guilt in your case call the compassionate attorneys at Eric J. Hertz P.C.