Elder abuse lawyers in Salt Lake, Washington, Davis and Weber counties. Ogden, Layton, Farmington, Syracuse, Clinton, Roy, Utah and surrounding areas.
Elder abuse in Utah nursing homesOur loved ones are at risk
Frequently Asked QuestionsNursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home residents are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. While there are many quality nursing homes who give excellent care to their residents, others do not. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about nursing home abuse and neglect.
Why do I need a nursing home abuse lawyer?
An expert lawyer in nursing home abuse from Carlson Injury Law will protect your loved one’s rights and represent your loved one’s best interests in a case in which abuse or neglect is suspected. Having an experienced nursing home abuse attorney on your side ensures that harm done to your loved one will be corrected and will not be swept under the rug.
An expert in nursing home abuse at Carlson Injury Law can conduct a thorough investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding suspected abuse or neglect. The fact that an attorney is looking into how a nursing home resident is being treated usually results in immediate changes. In many cases where serious problems are identified and corrected at a nursing home, such as with an employee or group of employees or because of training deficiencies or inadequate policies, it is after an independent investigation.
A trusted nursing home abuse lawyer can help you file a complaint with the appropriate government agencies to ensure that the facility investigates your concerns and protects your loved one. Further, at Carlson Injury Law we will conduct our own independent investigation into the abuse. As part of our investigation we will determine whether there is potential for the abuse or neglect victim to recover money for what they have suffered. Compensation to be derived from a lawsuit or in negotiations with the nursing home may include money for medical expenses incurred because of the abuse or neglect, money for pain and suffering, and assistance with relocating the abuse victim if necessary.
Most elderly or ill nursing home residents need a court-appointed guardian to file a legal action. An attorney can help to have a family member appointed to this role, and then follow up with a legal complaint against the nursing home.
What qualifies as nursing home abuse and neglect?
At a minimum, nursing homes are expected to provide all services that are necessary to the safety and health of all residents. This includes shelter, clothing, nourishment, hygiene, safety, adequate supervision, and proper medical care.
Failure to provide any of these necessities is neglect. If the failure to provide these services is deemed intentional, it is abuse. Furthermore, any violation of the resident's rights can be considered abuse. In most places, these rights include freedom from physical, verbal, sexual, or mental abuse. Each resident also has the right to make special dietary requests, engage in social activities and outings, and have visitors and a regular visit from a physician. While a nursing home is a type of medical institution, it also the residents' home and should be treated as such.
Because the nursing home is different than the hospital setting, please be aware that any form of restraint requires excessive documentation and a direct written order from a physician before it is used. Restraints should be used sparingly and only if all other interventions have failed to protect the safety of the resident. Restraints include items such as bedrails, locked wheels on a wheelchair when the resident is unable to undo the locks, lap buddies in wheelchairs, restraining jackets or wrist restraints, or hand mitten restraints. The overuse of restraints, or use without a physician's approval and notification of the resident's contact person is considered abuse in most circumstances.
3 MillionCDC estimate on nursing home patients over age of 65 by the year 2030
1 MillionNationally the incidence of elder abuse in nursing homes that lead to some kind of injury
1,800 elderly patientsRoughly 35 percent of elderly fall injuries occur with nursing home patients who cannot walk.
What are the Signs of Abuse and Neglect?
The warning signs ofelder abuse and neglect can include unexplained cuts, bruises, and fractures. Other warning signs include psychological and emotional symptoms as well as missing valuables and untreated illnesses. Learning to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect can help you protect a vulnerable loved one who lives in a residential care facility.
Some of the most common signs of elder abuse and neglect include the following:
Up to 20 PercentOf nursing home falls result in serious injury for the elder patient (CDC report).
5 PercentOf seniors age 65 and older, are
nursing home residents.
50 to 75 percentOf nursing home patients suffer a fall each year.
What are the most common causes of nursing home abuse and neglect?
There are far too many potential causes of abuse or neglect to list them all here. Among the most commonly reported are the following:
What Should I Do If
I Suspect abuse or neglect?
What Should I Do If I Suspect abuse or neglect? Ensure Your Loved One is Safe. Make sure your loved one is not immediate danger and call 911 if necessary.
If you believe your loved one is being abused, exploited, or neglected in a nursing home or assisted living facility, then Utah nursing home laws and regulations are designed to ensure you can report this easily. All reports go through the Utah Aging and Adult Services Division. Their website address is https://daas.utah.gov/. To report abuse to Adult Protect Services, you can call 1-800-371-7897. Helpful staff members are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Alternatively, you can file a report online at https://utahaps.com/Intake/NewPublicIntakeReport.aspx.
Additionally, you can an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer at Carlson Injury Law to assist you in reporting the abuse and protecting your loved one. Reporting the abuse promptly is critical in ensuring it does not continue and the situation is handled as soon as possible.
How do I find the best nursing home for my loved one?
Research. Research. Research.
A useful resource is the U.S. government’s official site for Medicare. www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html. This website allows you to search for nursing homes in your area and see (1) how nursing homes have performed on health and fire safety inspections; (2) how the nursing home is staffed with nurses and other healthcare providers; and (3) How well nursing homes care for their residents.
After you have identified those nursing homes in your area that appear to be safe, you should visit the nursing homes and meet with the staff, including the Nursing Home Administrator and Director of Nursing. Please contact Carlson Injury Law today at (801) 845-4577 to receive a free checklist of questions and important issues to consider when meeting with the nursing home staff and inspecting the facility.
Once you have met with the nursing home staff and inspected the facility, you should verify the licenses of the staff and see whether any of them have been subject to discipline by the State of Utah. This can be easily done by visiting https://dopl.utah.gov/orders/index.html. A trusted nursing home abuse lawyer at Carlson Injury Law is willing to assist you in this research free of charge.
Why have nursing home abuse and neglect become so common in recent years?
Neglect of the elderly and others in nursing homes has been a problem for a long time. In recent years, more attention has been drawn to the issue. Compounding the problem, many nursing homes are trying to house more residents with fewer staff. Many of these staff are inadequately trained, under stress to meet the needs of many residents, and paid a low wage.
Caregiver burnout is a frequent occurrence, even amongst professional caregivers. Caring for those who are mentally impaired, physically dependent for care, and require assistance with activities of daily living can be mentally and physically exhausting. If caregiver burnout is not recognized in staff and appropriate action taken, incidences of abuse and neglect are more likely to occur.