Identifying Abuse And Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can occur at facilities that appear to be highly professional and extremely caring. Management at a facility where abuse or neglect is occurring may not be aware that problems exist.
Many victims of nursing home abuse or neglect are unable or unwilling to report it; thus it is important for relatives to be familiar with the kinds of abuse that can occur and the signs of abuse or neglect.
Unless you have reason to believe that a resident's life is in imminent danger, it is best to report your concerns initially to the nursing home's management. If their response is unsatisfactory or if you do not see an improvement, you should file a report with the Division of Long-Term Care Residents Protection at the offices of Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS).
At that point, it is also critical to retain the services of experienced Delaware nursing home negligence attorneys. The legal team at Weik, Nitsche & Dougherty will conduct a thorough investigation that includes a complete review of a resident's health care records.Identifying Abuse And Neglect Wilmington Attorneys
There are four areas of concern that can generate a report to DHSS:
- Abuse — Can be physical or emotional. Physical abuse is defined as unnecessarily inflicting pain or injury to a patient by such things as hitting, kicking, pinching, slapping or sexual molestation. Emotional abuse is defined as ridiculing or demeaning a patient, making derogatory remarks to a patient or threatening to inflict physical harm.
- Mistreatment — Includes such things as the inappropriate use of medications, isolation, or physical or chemical restraints.
- Neglect — Includes lack of attention to the physical needs of the patient, including use of the toilet, bathing and meals. Neglect can also involve failure to carry out a treatment plan that was prescribed for a patient, or a failure to provide adequate staffing.
- Financial exploitation — The illegal or improper use of a patient's resources.
Obvious signs that should raise suspicion include unusual bruising or bleeding, open wounds or bedsores, poor hygiene, or stained or bloody clothing or bedding. Less obvious signs include unresponsiveness, physical or emotional withdrawal, or the disappearance of personal items.
You should be able to visit someone at any time of the day or night, even when there are posted visiting hours. Elder abuse and neglect frequently occurs at night when administrators have gone home and the facility may be understaffed.Meet With Our Attorneys To Get Answers To Your Questions
If you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected while living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, call or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. With offices in all three Delaware counties, we are ready to answer your questions and review your case. Our Wilmington office is available at 302-655-4040; Sussex County area residents can reach the Georgetown office at 302-856-9868. Call the Bear law office of Gary S Nitsche, P.A. at 302-834-4044 or the Smyrna law office of Gary S Nitsche, P.A. at 302-389-4040.