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Clarksville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

In 2016, Nashville Public Television ran a special that detailed the pervasive problem of elder abuse. In a statistic that often surprises people, cases of elder abuse outnumber cases of child abuse and spousal abuse combined. More than 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse. Many of these incidents occur in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. If your loved one is a victim, you could have grounds to sue for substantial compensation.

The Clarksville nursing home abuse lawyers at Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers help Clarksville residents whose loved ones have suffered abuse or neglect in nursing facilities hold the responsible parties accountable and recover the compensation they deserve. We have experience in winning these types of cases, and we want to put our knowledge  and resources to work for you. We offer a free case evaluation and are available to speak with you right away.

Call 800-800-4600 for an appointment.

Understanding Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, and How to Spot the Signs

Nursing home residents rank among the most vulnerable members of the population. Most are of advanced age, in tenuous health, and either partly or wholly dependent on the assistance of others to carry out daily living activities.

While most nursing home staff members do a fantastic job of caring for their elderly patients, a few end up taking advantage of their vulnerability. These people abuse and neglect residents, and unfortunately, the residents’ loved ones do not always manage to spot the abuse.

Here are the five different types of abuse that happen in nursing homes:

Physical Abuse

At times, a caregiver might need to make physical contact to restrain a resident, such as when a confused resident physically lashes out at an unfamiliar face.

But it is never okay for a caregiver to use more physical force than is absolutely necessary when handling a patient. Being physical with a patient out of anger, frustration, or exasperation is never acceptable. This type of behavior constitutes nursing home abuse.

Common forms of physical abuse in nursing homes include the following:

  • Hitting or kicking
  • Unnecessarily restraining a patient, or misusing restraints
  • Pushing or shoving
  • Burning
  • Force-feeding
  • Failing to render aid or provide medical attention when needed

Emotional Abuse

Staff members at nursing homes must attend to both the physical and emotional needs of residents. Often, residents are lonely, scared, and confused, and it is the caregiver’s job to make them as comfortable as possible. A caregiver who intentionally inflicts emotional pain or distress on a resident is guilty of emotional abuse. Here are some common examples:

  • Insults
  • Demeaning remarks
  • Humiliation
  • Manipulation
  • Isolation
  • Threats or intimidation
  • Instigating conflict between residents

Sexual Abuse

Although sexual abuse often involves physical contact between the caregiver and the resident, it does not have to. If behavior of a sexual nature makes a resident feel intimidated or uncomfortable, it is usually sexual abuse. This behavior can include unwanted advances, indecent exposure, and crude comments and jokes.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse happens when a caregiver uses their position of authority or a resident’s dependence or vulnerability to extract money, gifts, use of a credit or debit card, or other financial advantages.

Neglect

When a nursing home staff member fails to provide the level of care that a resident needs, they are guilty of neglect. For example:

  • Not providing adequate food or hydration
  • Not bathing the resident
  • Not providing clean clothes or bed sheets
  • Not giving the patient their medication on schedule

Signs That Your Loved One Might Be a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Since many nursing home residents are not capable of speaking up on their own — and many who are might be afraid to do so given that they depend on their caregivers for basic needs — you should always be watchful for signs that something is not right.

If the facility or your loved one displays any of the following signs, you should investigate further, as it might be a sign the facility is subjecting your loved one to nursing home abuse or neglect:

  • Physical injuries, such as bruises, cuts, or scrapes, with no immediately obvious cause
  • Personality changes
  • Bedsores
  • Genital trauma
  • An unkempt appearance, dirty clothes, unwashed bed sheets, or other signs of poor hygiene
  • Fear of a particular caregiver
  • Financial changes, including missing money, suspicious credit card charges, or unexplained ATM fees
  • An unexpected change to a will
  • Medication changes
  • A caregiver’s refusal to leave you alone with your loved one
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What Should I Do if I Suspect My Loved One Has Been a Victim?

If you believe your elderly loved one might be a victim of elder abuse or neglect, you should say something immediately. Even if you are wrong, it is better to sound a false alarm than to not say anything and let your loved one continue to suffer.

Take the following steps if you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse:

  • Call 911 if you suspect immediate danger;
  • Report your suspicions to the immediate supervisor of the caregiver in question;
  • File a report with the local police;
  • Make a report with Tennessee Adult Protective Services by calling 1-888-APS-TENN;
  • Contact Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers in Clarksville to discuss your options for filing a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties.

Call 800-800-4600 Today to Speak With a Hughes & Coleman® Team Member

The Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers team serves clients in Clarksville and across Middle Tennessee, helping them recover the compensation they deserve when their loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. We want to fight for you and make you our next satisfied client.

It starts with a free consultation and case evaluation with a member of our staff. To set it up today, call our office at 800-800-4600.

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