Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Recent Wave of Nursing Home Abuse Allegations Raises Awareness of Epidemic

What can a family do to combat possible physical, financial, or sexual abuse of their loved one in a nursing home?

With nursing home abuse stories flooding the news media, many families are growing increasingly concerned over the safety and security of their elderly loved ones living in a long-term care facility. Undoubtedly, the majority of these residential homes are comprised of loving staff members and supportive administrative professionals. However, a recent string of abuse allegations and convictions has left many to understandably question their rights should something similar happen to mom or dad.

Examples of nursing home abuse: Possible red flags

Nursing home abuse can be exceptionally subtle, sometimes flying under the radar for weeks or months. In Paducah, Kentucky, a staff member was recently arrested for allegedly stealing medications from a resident – an act which was ultimately reported by the resident herself after she had to endure days’ of excruciating pain while awaiting the disbursement of her prescription medication. While not an example of direct assaultive abuse, this type of conduct could be classified as patient neglect, which is another common occurrence tragically befalling the long-term care community.

In a highly-publicized case out of Christian County, Kentucky, Attorney General Jack Conway recently announced the sentencing of a 28-year old nursing home staff member convicted of “wanton abuse” of a residential patient. According to the details of the case, the offender verbally assaulted a non-communicative resident with severe mental impairment, pushed him down when he tried to stand up and assaulted him with a can of chewing tobacco. The offender was sentenced to three years’ incarceration, and will obviously be banned from future employment within the nursing home industry.

Options for concerned family

If you are concerned over the plight of your loved one in a nursing home facility, it may be possible to commence a personal injury negligence lawsuit on behalf of the family member – especially if he or she suffers from a mental impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. If this is the case, an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney can help file this type of lawsuit, which will result in the appointment of a guardian ad litem for the alleged victim – or, an attorney specially appointed to represent the victim’s interests. In a successful nursing home abuse case, the victim can receive compensation congruent with his or her level of physical or financial harm – as well as possible punitive damages if the facts are especially egregious.

If you are aware of possible nursing home abuse, we encourage you to immediately contact the local police, as well as Warren and Barren County Kentucky personal injury attorney, Flora Templeton Stuart, to discuss your civil options: 1-888-782-9090.