Nursing homes provide specialized care to the sick and elderly when they are most vulnerable. Although many nursing home patients receive excellent care, there are more than a few who experience abusive or neglectful treatment. Nursing home abuse is a pervasive problem within many long-term care facilities—sometimes even the most luxurious and costly ones.
If you suspect your loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home, do not hesitate to speak with a Boston nursing home abuse lawyer. A compassionate attorney could represent you or a loved one who is not receiving proper care and attention in a nursing home.
Nursing home abuse is illegal and perpetrators of such abuse are subject to serious civil—and sometimes criminal—penalties. Many types of nursing home abuse fall into the broader category of elder abuse, which may include physical or emotional injuries as the result of an overt act or neglect.
In Boston, elder abuse specifically includes:
Nursing home patients are under the constant care and supervision of the staff at their nursing home. Since family and friends are not always around when abusive practices take place, they are not always recognized immediately or at all. On top of that, many nursing home patients have physical or cognitive impairments that may make it difficult for them to communicate that they are suffering from abuse.
Nursing home visitors should pay attention to any changes in the physical appearance of their loved ones that are out of the ordinary, such as bed sores, bruises, malnourishment, dehydration, or poor hygiene. Sudden changes in personality may also indicate that something is wrong. If the visitors suspect any mistreatment, they should report it and then contact an attorney.
Fortunately, laws at both the federal and state levels establish standards that Boston nursing homes are required to uphold. Specific issues involving medical services, cleanliness, hygiene, safety, and nutrition are among the many aspects of care that are regulated in detail at the state level.
As licensed facilities, nursing homes are closely monitored by the Department of Public Health, as well as Long-Term Care Ombudsman who serve as advocates for the elderly. Despite these safeguards, however, nursing home abuse, unfortunately, remains a common problem.
If someone is being abused in a nursing home, getting that person to safety should be the first priority. Elder abuse can be reported at any time, day or night, by calling the state elder abuse hotline in Boston (1-800-922-2275). Alternatively, a report could be filed with Elder Protective Services or the Department of Public Health. After filing a report, the individual may want to consult with a nursing home abuse attorney in Boston.
Under state law, most nursing home employees in Boston—including physicians, physician assistants, nurses, physical therapists, and health aides—are mandated reporters. This means that if a nursing home employee witnesses abuse taking place, they are legally required to report it.
After your loved one is safely removed from an abusive situation, you may want to seek the counsel of a skilled Boston nursing home abuse lawyer. A dedicated attorney could advocate on behalf those abused in nursing homes and hold abusers accountable to the full extent of the law. To schedule a time for a consultation, call today.