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Nursing Home Abuse: Always Question Staff’s Version of Injuries

A nursing home abuse case out of Connecticut reveals why family involvement in these cases is so critical in forcing the truth to light. glasses.jpg

Our Margate nursing home abuse lawyers want to make sure you understand that nursing home administrators have a vested interest in downplaying or completely fabricating facts surrounding abuse, neglect and negligence. So when they give you an explanation for an injury to your loved one, always question it. If something doesn’t seem to add up, press for more information. Make them prove it. Demand proper medical examination. And contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.

In this case out of Connecticut, we might never had heard about it had it not been for the son of the injured elderly man refusing to simply accept what staffers told him.

His 84-year-old father suffers from dementia. Hospital staffers called one evening to tell them his father had suffered a fall into the bed rail and injured his eye.

When he visited the following day, he noticed his father’s eye was surrounded by severe bruising and appeared to be swollen shut. In fact, the swelling and bruising was so bad, it extended down the side of his jaw. Plus, his finger was broken, which didn’t seem to make sense, given the story the son had been told of what happened.

When the son asked his father what happened, his first response was “they hit me.” Asked who had hit him, he told his son “that woman” and “the aide.” However, the father’s dementia later caused him to say he had been hit with a rock.

The family began making repeated and urgent requests to have the man seen by the nursing home’s doctor. Their demands were met two days later, at which point he was transported to the emergency room of a nearby hospital.

As it turned out, his skull had been fractured and his finger broken. He has recovered, although he may require plastic surgery to repair the damage to his facial bones. This was actually a better outcome than one might have expected, given the fact that the elderly man takes blood thinning medication, which could have meant the internal bleeding had the potential to turn fatal. Thank goodness in this case it didn’t.

Police investigators were called to examine what had happened. As it turned out, a 26-year-old female employee beat the man after he had reportedly defecated on his bed 30 minutes before her shift was scheduled to end. She had been frustrated, she told investigators, and felt she could take it out on him because, with his dementia, figured no one would believe him.

She has since been charged with cruelty to persons, third-degree assault of a person over the age of 60 and reckless endangerment.

The state’s Department of Public Health has also launched an investigation into the facility and its policies, which have come under scrutiny in the past. Just last year, the nursing home was cited for failure to ensure proper handling during care and transfers to prevent injury of patients.

Had this son not been dogged in his pursuit for justice for his elderly father, our Margate nursing home abuse lawyers have no doubt the case would never have come to light, and even more elderly individuals may have been subjected to the cruelty of this aide.

If you suspect a loved one has suffered abuse by nursing home staff in South Florida, please call us today.

Call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
State investigating alleged nursing home assault, Oct. 16, 2012, By Amanda Cuda and Frank Juliano, Connecticut Post

More Blog Entries:
Florida Nursing Home Placed on Federal Watch List, Oct. 18, 2012, Margate Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog

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