Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is on the rise in Missouri and around the United States. The National Center on Elder Abuse found that out of 2,000 nursing home residents, 44 percent had experienced abuse and 95 percent of them had been neglected or witnessed others being neglected. Furthermore, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported that in 2016, medical providers and health care employees were responsible for 10 percent of all reported senior abuse cases.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home and are worried about their health, happiness, and well-being, there is help available in the form of a dedicated personal injury attorney. A St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation on your family member’s behalf for abusive or neglectful treatment by nursing home staff and administrators.
Defining Abuse and Neglect in a Nursing Home
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse is the abuse and neglect of persons age 60 and older by a caregiver or another person in a relationship that involves an expectation of trust. This applies to caregivers and medical professionals in a nursing home setting.
Missouri Revised Statutes address the public health and welfare of seniors. This statute defines abuse as inflicting injury or harm that is physical, sexual, emotional, or financial in nature. It further defines neglect as failing to give services to a senior when a contractual duty exists to do so, leading to imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the senior.
Common Signs of Abuse
Although abuse can be difficult to detect, there are certain signs to watch out for. These include:
- Bed sores
- Poor hygiene
- Weight loss
- Broken bones
- Changes in demeanor
Whenever family members notice any of these signs, their loved one may be a victim of abuse. For help determining next steps, families can consult a St. Louis nursing home abuse attorney.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents
All elements of care and decisions for competent adults in a nursing home setting must be done with their involvement and consent, and with respect given to the various rights these residents possess. Under Missouri state law, nursing home residents have the right to:
- Be free from mental and physical abuse
- Be informed of their medical condition
- Select their own physician
- Participate in planning their care
- Refuse treatment
- Voice grievances
- Be treated with respect and dignity
- Have treatments provided in privacy
Violating any of these rights may constitute abuse. Nursing home residents who feel that any of these rights were violated or that they have otherwise been neglected or abused may benefit from contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer in St. Louis.
Speak with a St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
A St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyer could examine the circumstances surrounding the possible abuse of your elderly loved one in a nursing home. If your legal team determines that there is merit to your case, they could file a lawsuit on your behalf and that of your loved one to potentially compensate them for their damages.
A compassionate attorney with experience handling cases of a sensitive nature could treat you and your loved one with the care and respect you deserve. Call today to learn more about nursing home abuse and your legal rights.