When we place an elderly loved one into a nursing home or long term care facility, we trust that they will be properly cared for and remain safe. This is the reason why facilities like this exist, after all—to protect our elderly loved ones when we are unable to do so ourselves.
Unfortunately, due to the often-dangerous combination of budgetary concerns and negligence, residents are sometimes improperly cared for, wrongfully injured, or abused in long term care facilities. In the legal world, we refer to situations like this as elder abuse, elder neglect, or nursing home abuse or neglect. When a family member is harmed, neglected, or abused in a facility, we have a right to remove our loved one from the facility as well as file a lawsuit against the facility.
Doing so lets us better provide for our loved one by ensuring they receive the care they need to recover as well as guaranteeing their future safety by placing them in a better home or facility. Filing a lawsuit against the facility also sends an important message—a message which states that the health and safety of our elderly population must be prioritized at all times. There is never an exception.
Taking Legal Action to Protect Our Loved Ones
At Urban & Taylor, S.C., our Milwaukee, WI nursing home abuse lawyers are passionate about making our nursing homes and long term care facilities safer for Wisconsin’s elderly population. Many of our state’s facilities are severely understaffed, but understaffing is never an acceptable excuse for abuse or negligence.
Here are some of the conditions and causes for neglect that we have succeeded in recovering monetary compensation for:
- Bed sores (pressure ulcers) that were caused by resident neglect.
- Falling injuries that were caused by a failure to properly monitor and assist.
- Medication errors — Prescribing the wrong drug, administering an overdose, failing to check for dangerous drug interactions, or failing to start patients on medications the doctor ordered. Any of these can cause irreversible damage or death.
- Failure to monitor, diagnose, and treat — Nursing home staffers are the eyes and ears for the families and doctors of residents. When a patient’s declining health goes unnoticed because of understaffing or negligent care, it can lead to serious illness or even death.
- Elopement — Some patients have a known tendency to wander off. Failure to watch over them can lead to serious injuries (falls, car accidents, assaults) when they leave the premises.
- Abuse — Elderly residents are especially vulnerable to nursing home abuse at the hands of staff or other residents, a failure of inadequate security, or negligent hiring. Physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual assault, and financial abuse are all forms of abuse that can occur.
Step One: Knowing the Signs of Elder Abuse
If you have a loved one in a Wisconsin nursing home or long term care facility, it can be difficult to know if they are always safe since you obviously cannot be there for them on a constant basis. There are a few things you should always watch for every time you visit them, however. Here are some of the most common signs of elder abuse:
- Unexplained bruises, scars, or welts anywhere on the body—specifically around ankles and wrists where residents are often unnecessarily restrained
- Broken bones or sprains
- Signs of overmedication such as constant drowsiness, listlessness or confusion
- Signs of elder emotional abuse such as a silent and withdrawn demeanor, a tendency to avoid eye contact, exhibiting fear or nervousness, or sudden mood swings
If you notice any of the above signs or your loved one otherwise seems “off” you should speak to a facility staff member and ask to speak to your loved one’s doctor as quickly as possible. You know your loved one better than anyone else. If something doesn’t seem right, there’s a good chance that something suspect may be happening.
In addition, ensure you always keep an eye on your loved one’s bank accounts and personal finances. Elder financial abuse is common in situations with caregivers or facilities where the residents have control over their finances. Any suspicious activity should be investigated immediately.
Getting Help from a Milwaukee Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The Milwaukee elder abuse team at Urban & Taylor, S.C. is committed to making a difference in the quality of long term care. By holding a nursing home accountable to pay damages for your loved one’s injuries or abuse, we hope to convince these facilities to change their practices so other families are spared the same tragedy.
Our legal team has had notable success in nursing home litigation. We serve the entire state of Wisconsin and have prosecuted claims throughout the state. If your elderly parent or family member has suffered injury or died because of substandard care or nursing home abuse, call our office today to be paired with an expert Milwaukee, WI nursing home abuse lawyer who can help. We extend a free case evaluation and work on a contingency fee.