You placed your loved one in a nursing facility to provide her with the constant care she needed. However, you noticed a dramatic change in her every time you visited—and you may have been told you couldn’t visit her at all. You’re not sure the staff is taking proper care of her, or even that your concerns are being heard, and you’re afraid that if you place her in a different facility the cycle will start all over again.
If someone you love has suffered a sudden decline, shown signs of physical injury, or died suddenly while in nursing home care, we can help. Our legal team can investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s injury, get the truth about what happened, and get justice for your family. Call us today at 301-790-3600 to tell your story to an attorney and visit our Resources section for helpful checklists, nursing home comparison websites, and government assistance sites.
The Many Forms of Elder Abuse in Maryland Nursing Homes
Unexplained physical injury is one of the common signs of nursing home abuse. Bruises, broken bones, and open wounds that are allowed to become infected can be life-threatening to elderly people, especially if they cannot communicate their concerns to caregivers. Staff members may use restraints to keep residents tied to their beds, handle residents too roughly, or even inflict sexual abuse on residents who are unable to defend themselves.
While many residents may suffer physical injuries in nursing homes, the truth is that abuse can go much further than damage to a resident’s body. Residents may also be mistreated due to:
- Emotional abuse. Nursing home employees may bully residents into taking medications they do not want, threaten residents with violence if they do not comply with treatment, or place them in a state of anxiety that affects their health. Staff members may also abuse their power over residents to prevent them from telling their families about their concerns.
- Financial abuse. There are many ways employees can steal from residents, including theft of possessions, stealing a resident’s monthly income checks, and extorting money by threatening or befriending elderly patients. Nursing home facilities can be liable for improper training or screening of employees who steal from residents, such as a failure to conduct criminal background checks.
- Neglect. Understaffed facilities may not check on residents as often as they should, leading to health problems such as slips and falls, bedsores, and malnutrition. Employees may fail to administer medication in a timely manner, fail to provide meals and water to patients, or fail to perform hygiene tasks such as changing residents’ clothes and bed linens. Some facilities may even encourage the use of unnecessary sedatives to keep residents unconscious for long periods, making it impossible for residents to ask for help.
Nursing Home Abuse Is Illegal Under State and Federal Law
Each resident of a nursing home is protected from abuse under both Maryland and federal law. State nursing home rights are outlined in the Code of Maryland Regulation and include laws pertaining to the facility itself, the facility’s nursing services, access and ability for a patient to complain about treatment, proper medication use, grooming and patient bathing, and various other protections against neglect and injury. In addition, the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law created the Resident’s Bill of Rights, which guarantees that residents should be given…
- Freedom from abuse, including physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional mistreatment, and the right to be treated with respect and dignity.
- Information about the nursing home in a language they understand, including services and charges, rules and regulations, advance notice of major changes, and contact information for filing complaints.
- An active role in their own care, including access to their own medical records, to be able to choose or refuse their own treatment, and the right to receive adequate care.
- The right to privacy and confidentiality in their housing and treatment.
- A safe place in which to live, including adequate security measures to protect patients and their possessions from harm.
- Visitation rights to see family members, friends, doctors, social services providers, and other advocates.
We Can Help You Take Action for a Loved One’s Mistreatment
Nursing homes may quickly hide or destroy any evidence of wrongdoing, making it much more difficult for grieving families to get justice. Our attorneys can begin an investigation on your behalf, forcing the nursing home to surrender its records and face the consequences of its actions. Contact us today to have us get started on your case.