When an elderly loved one goes into a nursing home we assume they will be taken care of and supported medically, physically, and emotionally. Nursing homes have a legal obligation to ensure their residents have their medical issues addressed, are able to live as fully as they are capable, and are treated with dignity and respect.
In the event a nursing home neglects their duty, they may be committing abandonment. This, unfortunately, is an issue that many individuals in Wisconsin and across the country are facing. If you believe your loved is being neglected, our Milwaukee nursing home abandonment lawyers are prepared to help you seek justice on their behalf.
Defining Nursing Home Abandonment in Wisconsin
Older individuals, especially those in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, often require a great deal of time and care from those around them. When a nursing home resident is abandoned, they are not receiving that time or care. Abandonment can take the form of leaving a resident unattended for long periods of time, not properly monitoring them over the course of a day, or by neglecting to have a staff member care for them entirely.
Abandonment often coincides with neglect and other forms of abuse, i.e. physical, emotional, financial, etc. When a caregiver or facility which has been entrusted to care for an elderly person deserts their responsibilities, the resident is put at risk for sustaining serious injuries or death. If you believe you loved one died as a result of nursing home abandonment, our wrongful death lawyers can guide you through the complicated legal process.
Examples of Nursing Home Abandonment
Nursing home abandonment can come in many different forms. You’ll find a list of the more commonly charged forms below:
- Failing to give medication as prescribed
- Allow a resident to become malnourished or dehydrated
- Leaving or ignoring a resident who has fallen
- Failing to check on a resident at regular intervals
- Neglecting to change soiled clothing or sheets in a timely manner
- Failing to provide assistance with daily activities
- Ignoring a resident’s call bell
- Allowing bedridden patients to develop bed sores
As you can see, the examples of abandonment listed above are likely to result in severe injury or worse. If you have a loved one in a care facility, it’s important to be aware of these issues and to have an idea of how to detect them.
Detecting Nursing Home Abandonment
Unfortunately, our loved ones are not always willing to tell us when they’ve been subjected to inadequate care. They may be embarrassed about what has happened, they may not realize the level of care they are owed, or they may not realize they’ve been mistreated at all.
In many abandonment situations, nursing home residents are left alone for extended periods of time. If your loved one has been deserted at a public location, like a shopping center or park, they have been a victim of abandonment. If you notice their medication schedule is off or that they seem to be having personal hygiene issues, these may also be signs your loved one isn’t being cared for properly.
Exploring Your Legal Options with a Milwaukee Nursing Home Abandonment Lawyer
If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abandonment, there are steps you can take to ensure the safety of your loved one. First, you’ll likely want to discuss the matter with your loved one. If they do not have the capacity to speak with you or understand what they’ve been subjected to, speak with the resident director as soon as possible. While this might not change present or future behaviors, it will be an important step to note if you decide to pursue legal action.
It’s also imperative to document everything. Take photographs of anything you see that you think is strange. This includes suspicious injuries, missing personal items, and unsanitary conditions. You also have the right to request daily reports about your loved one to try to track how they’ve been cared for. If you feel as though your loved one is in immediate danger, contact the local police department and file a report with Adult Protective Services.
The best way to hold a negligent nursing home accountable for their actions is to build a solid legal case. Our Milwaukee nursing home abuse lawyers are prepared to help you with that. We’ll investigate the matter, talk with your loved one and possible witnesses, and do whatever it takes to ensure no other residents are subjected to the same treatment.
If you’re ready to take action, we’re here for you. Contact our office today learn about your legal rights and options. We’ll provide you with a free claim evaluation, so you can decide what steps to take next.