Shreveport Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse Lawyer
Helping Victims of Neglect and Abuse Get Justice, Accountability and Compensation for Their Injuries and Harm
Scripture reminds us of our responsibility to care for our parents. For most, caring for our aging parents in the home is not possible, so we turn to professional facilities for help. When you entrust a nursing home with your parents and loved ones, you have every right to expect that they will honor your parents with proper care. When they neglect their duty to provide that care, our elderly family members suffer. Bedsores, broken bones and infections can be prevented if proper care is given. If you or a family member is injured by nursing home neglect, you have rights. The Shreveport nursing home neglect & abuse lawyers at Rice & Kendig has been helping families affected by nursing home neglect for over 40 years. We can help yours too.
Why Does Nursing Home Negligence Occur?
Nursing home residents get neglected or abused for a number of reasons. Cost-cutting and mismanagement lead to errors in hiring, training and supervising nurses and other staff members. Many facilities are simply understaffed, so even the best qualified and most well-intentioned nurses simply lack the capacity to provide each resident with adequate attention. Staffing turnover rates in nursing homes are typically high as well, so the quality of a given facility can change rapidly. If conditions at the nursing home are deteriorated or staff members are untrained or poorly supervised, staff can take out their frustrations on vulnerable residents and cause serious harm.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
People, in general, tend to get less capable physically and mentally as they age. Abuse or neglect can disguise itself as medical conditions brought on by frailty or dementia. Nursing home staffers and administrators know this and can easily suggest alternative reasons for a resident’s poor health that are unrelated to negligence. Victims of abuse or neglect might be too afraid to speak out for fear of reprisals, or they may be too embarrassed to admit they are being neglected or victimized and need a loved one’s help. They might also be incapable of communicating what is happening to them. Worst of all, nursing home employees might actively try to keep residents from communicating with family members, such as by restricting phone use or not leaving them alone with visitors.
Be watchful for any of the following conditions or changes in your loved one. They may be signs of neglect that need to be checked out.
- Bedsores (pressure ulcers). Bedsores occur when a resident is left immobile in the same position for too long, either in bed or in a chair. Bedsores are entirely preventable, and staff should be trained to shift, move and turn residents as needed to prevent bedsores. If left untreated, bedsores can become infected with resistant bacteria that are impossible to treat, and fatal blood infections could follow.
- Weight loss. If a resident’s weight loss can’t be adequately explained, the reason might be malnourishment from the nursing home.
- Confusion or disorientation, which can be signs of dehydration or malnutrition
- Unclean linens or a dirty living area
- Poor hygiene
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The first thing to keep in mind about nursing home abuse is that it isn’t always physical. Residents can also be subjected to verbal, emotional or psychological abuse, with severe consequences. For instance, residents could be deprived of food, water or social contact as a form of punishment. They could be put in restraints (physical or chemical) for discipline or the convenience of staff, rather than to treat an actual medical symptom. These actions are dangerous and illegal, and nursing homes can and should be taken to task for allowing such harmful measures to occur under their roof.
Below are some signs of physical abuse to be alert for:
- Cuts, bruises or broken bones that could be the result of being hit or knocked down
- Symmetrical bruises on arms, wrists or ankles, showing resident was forcefully grabbed or improperly restrained
- Personality or mood changes exhibiting anxiety, fear or depression
How Can We Stop Nursing Home Negligence?
Reporting a problem to a trusted staff member or the administrator might get the problem quickly corrected. On the other hand, it can also put the administration on the defensive so that they fail to take actions that might be seen as an admission of fault. State agencies exist to regulate nursing homes, but filing a complaint with a government agency is not likely to lead to swift action. Calling Rice & Kendig is a way to get immediate help. Our lawyers can force nursing home management to take steps to end abuse or neglect immediately. We can also go straight to court for an injunction or other legal order. If appropriate, Rice & Kendig will also take steps to secure compensation for the harm inflicted on your loved one from the neglect or abuse.
Get Help Now to Stop Nursing Home Negligence in Shreveport-Bossier City
If you suspect your loved one of being abused or neglected in a Shreveport-Bossier City nursing home, don’t delay. Call an experienced injury lawyer at Rice & Kendig right away for immediate assistance getting your beloved family member the care they need. Our parents, grandparents and cherished family members deserve to live out their days in dignity and respect in a caring environment. Call our office at 318-222-2772. We’ll come to you and help you find justice.