Mobile, Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing homes provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care to those who need it. Many people end up in a nursing home when they are elderly and struggling with illnesses or dementia. Family members drop off their loved ones with the expectation that they will receive the highest quality of care.

Unfortunately, abuse is rampant in many nursing homes. Staff and visitors can prey on vulnerable people, causing untold harm. If you believe a loved one is abused in a facility, please contact Roger Varner Injury Law. Our Mobile, Alabama nursing home abuse lawyer can investigate and explain how to hold the nursing home accountable.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Punching
  • Slapping
  • Pinching
  • Kicking
  • Shoving
  • Suffocating
  • Smothering

Nursing homes can also chemically abuse a loved one by giving them certain drugs to restrain them. These drugs might be appropriate only for someone with dementia, so giving them to someone off-label is inappropriate.

How can you identify physical abuse? Common signs include bruises, fractures, and unexplained trips to the hospital. Your loved one might also be in fear of a certain nurse or staff member. Unfortunately, many of our elderly are too afraid to speak out, so be vigilant if you suspect any abuse.

Emotional/Psychological Abuse

Not all abuse is physical. Emotional or psychological abuse is just as serious and can lead to depression, weight loss, and sickness. Examples of emotional abuse include:

  • Name-calling
  • Harassment
  • Isolation
  • Lying
  • Berating in front of others

Many vulnerable adults cannot understand what is happening. They might slip into a child-like state and begin sucking their thumb or curl up in the fetal position.

Sexual Abuse

Shockingly, sexual abuse happens in hundreds of nursing homes around the country. In its most obvious forms, a resident can be sexually assaulted, groped, or raped. But other types of sexual abuse include sexual harassment or forcing a resident to watch pornographic videos. Staff might also forcibly undress a resident in front of others.

Signs of sexual abuse include bleeding or bruising around the genitals, as well as sexually transmitted infections. Often, however, sexual abuse is hard to uncover.

Financial Exploitation

Financial abuse is also rampant. Many people can take advantage of your loved one by stealing money or valuables. They might also use personal information to open credit cards or take out a personal loan. Identity theft is a common crime committed against the elderly.

Pay attention to what bills your loved one receives. If you receive calls from a collection agency, this is one sign they could be financially abused. As a precaution, you can also freeze your loved one’s credit report before they go into the nursing home.

Steps to Take

If you suspect abuse, you should investigate. One step is to talk with the nursing home management. They should have an ombudsman on staff who is available to meet. Mention specific details and ask to be kept in the loop of any investigation.

You might also mix up your visitation schedule. Some abuse happens at particular times. If you show up at a different time, you might catch the person abusing your loved one.

How a Lawyer Can Help

At Roger Varner Injury Law, we can immediately assist anyone being abused. Sometimes we receive calls from concerned family members. Other times we hear directly from residents themselves. Either way, we can swing into action to protect a vulnerable person in a dangerous nursing home situation.

We can talk to staff and ask to see patient records. When a nursing home sees a lawyer is involved, they know to take the situation seriously.

We can also report crimes to the police and act as a liaison for the family. The state of Alabama regulates nursing homes, so we should report suspected abuse to them. They should investigate and might take further action, like sanctioning the home.

If your loved one wants to be moved, we can also find an appropriate home and handle the transfer process. There are good, safe nursing homes out there.

Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse

Anyone abused should receive compensation for:

  • Medical care to treat injuries, like fractures, concussions, burns, or abrasions.
  • Psychological counseling for mental or emotional trauma.
  • Pain and suffering, to try and make up for the effects of abuse.

Where appropriate, we will also seek punitive damages if the defendant intentionally or recklessly hurt a resident. Our clients can receive punitive damages in addition to other compensation.

Call Our Mobile, Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing home abuse is unacceptable. Let our legal team protect your loved one during this difficult time. Call us today at (833) 482-7637 to discuss your case.