Compassionate Chattanooga Lawyers Protecting Your Loved One from Nursing Home Abuse
What to do when someone you love is hurt in an assisted-living facility
Your elderly relative was getting older and needed more care. You did your homework and decided to place your loved one in a nursing home, expecting considerate, professional, round-the-clock assistance. Now, you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated. Perhaps you or your family noticed injuries, missing money, or a change in your loved one’s habits or personality. Who can you turn to for help?
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we have uncovered abuse in countless facilities. We are proud to help innocent victims step out of harm’s way, and we work to hold nursing homes accountable for harmful, immoral and often illegal practices. If your loved one is being neglected or abused, our Chattanooga nursing home abuse attorneys stop at nothing to ensure he or she gets the justice and stays out of further harm’s way.
Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect
Tragically, there are many ways in which a staff member can abuse or neglect an elderly person in an assisted-living facility. Senior citizens, particularly those with serious health conditions, are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Infractions may include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. A staff member could financially exploit or steal from a patient. Your loved one’s basic needs may be unmet, such as not receiving adequate nutrition or hydration.
Each time you visit your mother, father or other relative in a nursing home, look for signs of abuse and neglect, which can include:
- Broken bones
- Open sores
- Bruising, cuts or welts
- Mood swings
- Emotional outbursts
- Refusal to eat
- Refusal to take medications
- Missing money
- Unexplained withdrawals from accounts
- New credit cards opened in your loved one’s name
- Signs of dehydration, such as cracked lips
- Sudden or unexplained weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Poor physical appearance
Your loved one may be experiencing a combination of these symptoms and could be subject to various forms of abuse.
What to do you if you suspect nursing home abuse
If you’ve visited your relative recently and noticed signs of abuse or neglect, ask him or her what has happened. If he or she is ill, or suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s, getting a full account may be difficult, but you should still try. Additionally, abuse victims may be fearful of their attackers and afraid to speak up. So, even if mistreatment has occurred, your loved one might not be able to tell you about it. It is then up to you to stand up for them. Do not be afraid to assert your loved one’s rights
First, speak with management. Have your concerns documented and ask what corrective measures will be taken. Speak with the people who cook the food, who make the beds, who run the activities, and who handle your loved one’s medical care.
Next, contact Adult Protective Services or the Tennessee Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s role is to sniff out any impropriety or abuse, and to ensure that nursing home residents are safe, protected and as healthy as they can be (given their unique circumstances and needs, of course). Tennessee does not allow you to install a “granny cam” in your loved one’s room, but other states do, so if your loved one is out-of-state, you may be legally allowed to install a camera.
Finally, remember than an attorney can be your loved one’s best advocate in these types of situations, so contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer is imperative. Your attorney helps you file a complaint, move your relative to a secure facility and can file a civil claim against the nursing home.
In some cases, criminal charges may be warranted as well. Tennessee law enforcement can guide you on pursuing a criminal case to ensure the abuser never harms anyone else ever again.
At Wagner & Wagner, we feel very strongly about the nursing home cases we represent, and our attorneys understand your family’s pain and confusion. We will do anything to help protect your loved one and to prevent future abuse.
Caring nursing home neglect lawyers want what’s best for your loved one
Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law is a full-service personal injury law firm that serves the community. We’re Chattanooga natives, and we care about the people living here. We care about you and your family. So, when a negligent nursing home staff member harms someone you love, our nursing home abuse attorneys are ready to stand by your side. Call 423.799.3532 or complete our contact form to speak with a lawyer at a free consultation today. We serve clients in North Georgia, Cleveland and Chattanooga, TN and the surrounding counties.