It’s unreal: you entrusted your aging mother, who can’t care for herself anymore, to a facility specializing in round-the-clock care for the elderly. Now she’s hurt. And the staff members who welcomed you with warm smiles and bubbly conversation act strangely cold, even evasive, when you ask how it happened.
It happens every day. Sadly, the most fragile, easily hurt members of our society often suffer injury from neglect or abuse by their caregivers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other residential care facilities. Here are types of injuries the elderly often suffer at the hands of these facilities:
- Broken bones. The elderly are vulnerable to falls due to conditions like lack of mobility, bad vision, dementia, and osteoporosis. This requires staff to check on them regularly and keep floors safe. Cluttered or slippery floors and lack of monitoring create an environment for a fall, often resulting in broken hips, arms, and wrists.
- Concussions, brain injuries, and brain bleeds. For the elderly, head injuries resulting in traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be much more severe and even lead to life-threatening brain bleeds. These can be caused by falls, being dropped by a caregiver, or falling out of a bed without proper bedrails.
- Bedsores and pressure ulcers. These agonizing sores develop in bedridden or wheelchair-bound patients if their position isn’t regularly changed by staff. These injuries are a frightening menace. Left untreated, they can create gaping holes, even to the bone, leading to fatal sepsis infections.
- Medication mistakes. Medication errors come in many forms and cause many harms. It can even be fatal. Patients who get the wrong medication can suffer a painful or even deadly reaction. Improperly logged medication records can lead to patients getting too much medication, causing an overdose and death. Sadly, some patients even suffer the agony of their narcotic pain medication being stolen or diluted by staff, who use it to further their own addiction or even drug dealing.
- Wandering injuries. Left unguarded, dementia patients can walk out of supposedly secure facilities and wander away, completely lost. This can be especially dangerous and tragic. They can fall, breaking bones. Or, worse, they can go undiscovered for hours or even overnight, perishing from exposure to heat or cold. And there’s always the danger of their walking into the road and getting hit by a car.
You Need Someone To Speak For Your Mom
Our frailest elders have a right to be safe in facilities paid to protect them. But when they get hurt by professional caregivers, families are often shocked to discover facilities often give no answers, much less an apology or offer to pay medical bills. And it’s not easy to stand up to stonewalling facilities. The regulations governing nursing homes can be complex and these facilities fight injury claims hard.
You may already regret leaving your mom alone with them—don’t make that mistake again by taking them on yourself. Hire an experienced injury lawyer who can help make sure the cause of the injury gets found and the facility is held accountable.
You can start a live chat right where you are to set up a meeting where you can tell us your story to see what we can do to get you answers and legal relief for the harm your mom or dad or grandparent suffered.