Nursing home abuse is one of those crimes made all the more egregious because it involves preying upon someone who is unable or afraid to speak for themselves.
That’s why our Lauderhill nursing home abuse lawyers want to underscore the importance of family members becoming educated about what nursing home abuse and neglect is and how they can spot it. Nursing home residents rarely have other advocates.
And as was the case in a pattern of abuse reported in a Missouri nursing home, it was family members who blew the whistle on the situation.
Now even though this case was in another state, the same basic principles and laws apply.
As reported by KMOV Channel 4, the first incident involved an 82-year-old woman who had to be hospitalized due to severe abuse.
However, she might never have received treatment, had her daughter not took note of the extensive bruising on the woman’s abdomen and elsewhere. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she spent two days receiving treatment. Her daughter also contacted the local police department, who launched a criminal investigation.
This, amid another family’s claims that their relative also had to be hospitalized due to alleged neglect. In that case, a 68-year-old woman was taken to the hospital – but only after her daughter called a doctor because her mother’s arm was turning green. This followed several days in which the woman had trouble moving her arm. As it turned out, her shoulder was separated and her elbow was fractured.
However, even after the daughter of that woman spoke to a doctor, who advised that she be rushed to the emergency room, it took staff at the hospital more than two hours to contact an ambulance to take her.
The daughter couldn’t be sure exactly how her mother came to be injured, as her mother can’t communicate that to her. However, she suspects maybe her mother fell and the wound was never treated.
The director of the facility told the local media that the woman, who also suffered bruising and deep lacerations, had fallen while being transferred from her wheelchair to her bed. The patient was not, the director claims, a victim of abuse.
Now, our Lauderhill nursing home abuse lawyers are somewhat skeptical of this, but only because we know first of all that it can be very difficult for family members to accept that someone you trust is harming your loved one, and secondly, these facilities will do whatever they need to do to try to avoid financial repercussions.
Both patients have since been removed from the nursing home.
Perhaps unsurprising, the families later discovered that the nursing home has had several wrongful death lawsuits filed against it in recent years.
The state health department declined to say whether it was conducting an investigation, but police have indicated theirs is ongoing.
Because these cases can sometimes be difficult to prove according to the high standards that must be met in the criminal arena, in some cases a civil lawsuit is the best way to hold an agency such as this accountable.
If you or a loved one have suffered from nursing home abuse in Lauderhill, West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez for legal assistance. 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.