The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult one to make. Often family members place their loved one in a nursing home due to necessity, and because they believe their loved one will receive better care from professionals in a nursing home facility. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and Arizona Nursing Home Abuse occurs.
Although many individuals may not be aware, Arizona nursing home abuse occurs at an alarming rate in the United States as compared to other states. It is estimated that 1 in every 10 elderly adult suffers some form of abuse, with 40 percent of nursing home residents saying that they have been abused within the past year. The issue of nursing home abuse is all the more concerning as the elderly population in the United States and Arizona is growing and more individuals are having to resort to residing in nursing homes or having to make arrangements for loved ones to live in a nursing home.
If you are a nursing home resident or have a loved one who is a nursing home residents it is important to know that nursing home abuse is not only wrong, it is against the law. As a victim of abuse, or a family member of a victim, you may have legal recourse against abusers and those who caused you harm. Having an experienced attorney who aggressively fights for victims’ rights can help to ensure that the abuse stops, the perpetrator is punished, and the victim receives justice and compensation. If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact the Arizona nursing home abuse attorneys at the Thompson Law Firm today for help by calling (480)-281-0534.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse occurs when a nursing home resident is mistreated or neglected, which can be manifest in a variety of ways, including:
- Physical Abuse
- Misuse of restraints
- Verbal and emotional abuse
- Physical neglect
- Medical neglect
- Verbal and emotional neglect
- Misappropriation of personal or real property
Nursing home abuse can be committed by nursing home staff or workers, including doctors and nurses, and in some instances, another resident may even be the abuser. While the facts and circumstances surrounding instances of nursing home abuse may vary, both federal and state law make nursing home abuse illegal and provide victims of nursing home abuse with possibilities for recourse.
What to Look For
While abuse occurring in nursing home facilities can happen in a variety of ways, there are some signs to look for if you are concerned about your loved one being abused. These signs can include things, such as:
- Sores that won’t heal
- Social isolation
- Extreme weight loss or gain
It is important to look for signs of abuse because unfortunately victims of nursing home abuse often do not report the abuse as they fear retaliation, or because they do not know to whom to report the abuse.
Additionally, it is essential to get the abuse to stop as quickly as possible as nursing home abuse victims may already have compromised health and the abuse can make them more ill, and in some cases may even cause or hasten death. Research shows that nursing home abuse victims are three times more likely to be admitted to the hospital and that they are more likely to develop other health issues. In addition to the physical and emotional toll nursing home abuse has on its victims, the extra medical treatment also has a huge financial cost. Hospitalization for nursing home abuse victims costs an estimated $2.8 billion a year paid by Medicare. This dollar figure does not include other medical treatment for abuse not requiring hospitalization and the money that Medicaid contributes to treatment for abuse victims.
Nursing Home Abuse is Against the Law
Nursing home abuse is against both Arizona state law and federal law.
Nursing home abuse was outlawed at the federal level with the passing of the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. Importantly, these laws also set standards and dictate regulations for how nursing homes are supposed to operate, including things such as, doctor and nurse training, patient rights, and mechanisms for reporting abuse. Further, the law outlines punishments for those found guilty of nursing home abuse. The federal law also allows states to impose their own rules on nursing homes operating within their state.
In Arizona, the legislature has passed the Adult Protective Services Act which regulates nursing home facilities, defines and outlaws nursing home abuse, and outlines what recourse is available to victims of nursing home abuse. Victims of nursing home abuse may also have a legal case against abusers under Arizona civil liability laws and under Arizona’s Medical Malpractice Act.
Under both the state and federal law, victims of nursing home abuse have legal rights. Understanding and asserting your rights as an abuse victim can be challenging. Having a Chandler, Arizona personal injury attorney to fight for your rights can make a difference in your case.
Suffering from, or watching your loved one being victimized by nursing home abuse can be difficult. Knowing how to get the abuse to stop, ensuring the nursing home resident is not retaliated against for reporting abuse, and getting compensated for damage caused by the abuse can be confusing and challenging. That is why the Arizona personal injury attorneys at the Thompson Law Firm are here to assist you. Our attorneys have years of experience helping victims of nursing home abuse, and you can trust that we will fight for your rights. To get nursing home abuse to stop and to learn more about nursing home abuse victims’ rights contact Thompson Law Firm today by calling (480)-281-0534.