Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Oregon
When you believe that your loved one has been the victim of abuse in their nursing home, you must reach out to a nursing home abuse lawyer Oregon families rely on from Andersen Morse & Linthorst. Nursing home abuse can happen in even the most highly-rated nursing homes. You may have taken the time to carefully look over reviews, take a tour of the building, and thought that it was a clean place that was run well. However, just one bad employee can abuse many different residents or be neglectful to the point of causing severe injury. If you believe that your loved one is the victim of abuse, you should call our office.
What does it mean for a nursing home resident to be abused?
There are many ways that a resident can be abused. Some of them may be significantly less obvious than others. For example, you may be looking for bruises or lacerations as evidence of abuse, but this is not always the case. Your loved one may show other signs, such as a mood shift, when a particular staff member walks by, trembling around specific staff, or your loved one may seem unclean. When a nursing home staff member does not properly take care of residents, they are neglecting them. While not always an obvious sign of abuse, neglect can mean your loved one isn’t getting their medications at the right time; they aren’t being cleaned up quickly if they soiled themselves or aren’t getting help with other hygiene-related issues. If you suspect any of this, reach out to your Oregon nursing home abuse lawyer.
What causes nursing home abuse to happen?
When caught abusing residents in nursing homes, we have heard many staff excuses stating that the patient is being difficult. But in many situations, it may be because the nursing home itself is understaffed. However, there is no excuse for abuse. If it turns out that the nursing home is understaffed, you may be bringing a nursing home abuse claim against the nursing home in addition to the individual staff member. The top reasons abuse may occur are:
- The staff are improperly trained
- Members of the staff were not properly vetted before working there
- The staff are burnt out and overworked
- The staff are not being properly supervised
If you are concerned that abuse or neglect may be happening with your loved one at a nursing home, please contact the trusted nursing home abuse lawyers in Oregon from Andersen Morse & Linthorst.
Signs Your Loved One Is Experiencing Nursing Home Abuse
The idea of your family member being treated poorly at a nursing home is difficult to imagine, but it happens more often than you think. Here are a few signs that your loved one is experiencing abuse.
- Unsanitary Living Conditions: Nursing homes are expected to provide residents with safe and clean living conditions. If they fail to do this, residents are more likely to suffer infections. Bathrooms should be sanitized and cleaned frequently to avoid attracting bacteria. Kitchens also have to be properly cleaned and sanitized to prevent the spread of illnesses. If you notice that the nursing facility is dirty and unkempt, your loved one may not be receiving proper care.
- Emotional Issues: As a nursing home abuse lawyer in Oregon can confirm, nursing home residents may experience a wide range of emotional issues if they’re being abused or neglected. For example, if your family member is usually happy and talkative and suddenly becomes quiet and withdrawn, you should address these changes immediately.
- Unexplained Injuries: If your loved one has bruises, broken bones, or other signs of injuries, something may not be right at the nursing home. It’s possible that your family member isn’t receiving the assistance they need and performs specific tasks alone. For example, if your loved one has limited mobility and is walking somewhere unassisted, he or she is at risk of falling.
- Weight Loss: If your family member has lost a considerable amount of weight in a short time, it is a cause for concern. Your loved one may not be getting the proper nutrition. Whether this is due to insufficient staffing or a lack of individualized care, malnutrition is a big problem. It can lead to decreased immunity, poor muscle strength, vision loss, and other health effects.
- Poor Personal Hygiene: As a nursing home abuse lawyer in Oregon can attest, nursing home staff members are expected to help residents with basic personal hygiene. They may help them get dressed, bathe, brush their teeth, and comb their hair. If staff members fail to assist residents with these tasks, they are left to do them independently and might not be able to. If you’ve noticed that your family member looks unkempt or smells bad, he or she is likely not receiving adequate care.
Suspect Nursing Home Abuse? Look for These 4 Signs
Sadly, nursing home abuse is increasingly common these days. Low wages and long hours lead some staff to take out their frustrations on the elderly. Nursing homes may also be desperate for employees and sidestep proper hiring channels. This lack of due diligence has the potential to put predators in close contact with vulnerable residents. If you think your loved one may need a nursing home abuse lawyer in Oregon, check for evidence. These four clues may indicate your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse.
1. Poor Hygiene
The sole purpose of a nursing home staff is to provide care to residents. Poor hygiene is a sign that the employees are ignoring your loved one. Watch out for sour breath, greasy hair and body odor. Soiled clothing or bed sheets are also telltale signs of neglect, not to mention dangerous. Severe medical conditions can arise when staff forces residents to sit in their excrement for days on end. If your loved one is suffering from an unexplained hygiene-related illness, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Oregon can help.
2. Bed Sores
Bedsores are signs that employees may neglect a resident. Exercise and movement are necessary to keep bodies healthy, and older adults often need help moving around. Bedsores are a symptom of being left to lay or sit for hours. Be sure to check your loved one for sores on the backside, legs, back or feet during your visits.
A disgruntled staff member may over-medicate a resident to keep them quiet. Signs of overmedication include sleeping too much, disorientation or hallucination. Over-medication may also lead to an overdose or cardiac episode, which can be life-threatening. If you notice signs of over-medication, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Oregon and protect your loved one.
4. Bruises and Injuries
Older adults can bruise easily from minor bumps, so this can be tricky to spot. Bruises that resemble handprints or finger marks are signs of forceful grabbing. Staff may strike patients on the face and leave welts or cuts. Broken bones may be a sign that they’ve been pushed down as punishment or left on the floor after they’ve fallen. These cruelties are all too frequent and may devastate families if immediate action isn’t taken.
If any of this sounds familiar, and you suspect nursing home abuse Andersen Morse & Linthorst, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Oregan, can help. We’ve seen it all and know how to help.
Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
At Andersen Morse & Linthorst, our nursing home abuse lawyer will tell you that it’s imperative to take action as quickly as possible. The elderly population is particularly vulnerable, and abuse can be incredibly damaging, resulting in lifelong injuries and even fatalities. No family member wants to intentionally stand by while their aging loved one suffers from abuse and neglect while in the care of a nursing home. As a family member, it can be challenging to know how best to manage suspected nursing home abuse. The following are steps to take if you either suspect abuse or your loved one is in danger of further harm.
Report the Abuse
Whether you suspect abuse or are aware that abuse has occurred, one critical step will be to report the abuse. Making a report not only ensures the safety of your loved one but can also either stop the abuse that is currently occurring or prevent abuse from happening in the future. While nursing home abuse can, at times, be challenging to prove, it’s critical to act as quickly as possible. There are several options for reporting abuse and exploitation:
- By contacting your loved one’s medical provider and social worker if there is one assigned
- Contact the Department of Human Services, Aging, and People with Disability Office
- Any abuse and neglect can be reported by calling 1-855-503-SAFE
- If your loved one has been abused in a licensed nursing home facility, contact the Nursing Facility Complaint Unit at 1-877-280-4555
An Oregon nursing home abuse lawyer will tell you that all nursing facilities must adhere to licensing standards. While facilities are periodically inspected, if abuse in a nursing home is suspected, it’s essential to file a complaint or report. Be sure to include as much detail as possible. Once a complaint is filed, it will be assigned to an investigator who will visit the facility. They will review all records and conduct interviews to gain an understanding of what happened and make a determination regarding whether the abuse was either substantiated or unsubstantiated.
Information will be crucial to proving your case and should be done immediately. You can do so by compiling all medical documentation, documenting any changes to your loved one’s behavior, taking photographs of injuries, and gathering witness information. Information gathering will act as evidence to prove your legal claim should an attorney recommend moving forward with the case.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer
Once you have secured your loved ones’ safety and ensured they are receiving the care and treatment they require, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. By obtaining a complimentary consultation offered at many area firms, you will be able to have your questions answered and receive a clear picture of the best way to move forward. An experienced and dedicated lawyer will work tirelessly to review damages, value the case, and work to hold the negligent parties liable for the losses incurred.
If your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, chances are their safety and well-being are at risk. If you believe your loved one is in imminent danger, securing their safety is imperative. Do so by contacting law enforcement or arranging to have your loved one moved from the facility as quickly as possible.
No person should have to suffer from abuse due to negligent care or abusive staff in a nursing home. If your loved one was harmed, they could be experiencing significant losses, from physical pain to emotional harm. They deserve compensation for their failures with the assistance of Andersen Morse & Linthorst. For guidance and legal representation that you can depend on, contact our Oregon nursing home abuse lawyer without hesitation.