It’s a stressful time when a parent or relative needs nursing home care. Can you trust the nursing facility to provide good care? Will your loved one feel safe and comfortable? You want to know that all their needs will be met, with a caring staff to help at all times.
In Louisiana, all nursing facilities must follow state laws to provide quality care to its residents. In reality, however, Louisiana ranks as the second lowest state in giving proper care, according to ratings by Families for Better Care. With the state having only 8% of professional nurses, as well as a shortage of properly trained staff, nursing home residents only get an average of 32 minutes of nursing care every day. These problems are added to other overall deficiencies. Because of these low rankings, the nursing homes in Louisiana are at risk for lawsuits.
Elderly patients in nursing homes need high levels of care. Those who suffer from dementia or are disabled, need even more personal attention. Elderly abuse and neglect cases are rising in all states. Reports by the National Center on Elder Abuse show that the risk of death is 300% higher if the person has been abused.
Abuse comes in many forms. They are intentional acts that do physical, emotional, sexual, or financial harm to the patient. Neglect can be through lack of care to the patient or to the surroundings. Both abuse and neglect can also occur in ways that are more hidden. These acts can be harder for the family to know about, but still do harm to the patient.
Nursing Home Abuse Signs & Symptoms
If you suspect that your loved one is being harmed in some way, watch for any of the following:
- Unexpected falls
- Unexplained broken bones, sprains, bruises, cuts or burns
- Errors in medications, giving too much or too little
- Untimely death
- Bed sores that become infected
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Malnutrition; not getting enough food
- Dehydration; not getting enough fluids
- Shows fear or withdraws from social activity
- Emotional; crying or anxious
- Complains about the care; distrusts caregivers
Some issues in nursing homes can be seen, like the ones listed above. There are other dangers, however, that may go unnoticed. Residents might be poorly treated, or put in isolation or restraints for punishment. They may be subjected to sexual abuse or coaxed into signing over access to savings accounts. How can you know?
If you suspect harm is being done to your loved one, you need to take action immediately. Gather evidence that shows neglect. Take photos and write down dates of when you see problems. Find out who is taking care of your loved one. See if the nursing home has had complaints about how it is being run. Talk to supervisors and medical professionals about the problems.
Most importantly, contact a Louisiana nursing home attorney to get advice. The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess knows how to handle claims of elder abuse. They will provide you with a free consultation to discuss your concerns. They will help find the facts, investigate, and protect the rights and safety of your loved one. Don’t Delay, Call Clay!