Arkansas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Serving Little Rock, Conway, Fayetteville & Hot Springs
About two million seniors over the age of 65 have been victims of nursing home abuse or neglect in the United States. This abuse can come in many forms, and its effects can be devastating. Even worse, most cases of nursing home abuse are never reported. Only 1 in 14 incidents are ever discovered, meaning that nursing home abuse is more common across the country than we think.
Learning that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse is devastating for family members. When the people trusted to care for them are the ones causing them harm, it’s difficult to know where to turn for help. At Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton, our Arkansas nursing home abuse lawyers will be there every step of the way. We can help you protect your loved one from further abuse and hold their abuser accountable.
What is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Residents of a long-term care facility or nursing home should be properly cared for and treated with compassion and respect. When a caregiver or nursing home causes them harm, they may be guilty of nursing home abuse. Receiving poor care, not being adequately supervised, being verbally or physically abused, or being neglected can cause significant physical, emotional, and psychological harm. Nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all their residents, and this includes properly screening employees, providing safe staffing and maintaining the facility. When a nursing home fails to protect their residents and uphold the standard of care, they can be liable for the abuse their residents have suffered.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are seven different types of nursing home abuses that are recognized by the National Center on Elder Abuse. Each one of these types can cause significant damage to an elderly person, and if they go undiscovered, can be fatal.
Physical Abuse – Seniors are at an increased risk for sustaining physical abuse. They are often unable to defend themselves and as a result, they become easy targets for abusive caregivers. Physical abuse can include shaking, pushing, slapping, or improperly using restraints. A senior may also be a victim of physical abuse if they are force fed or drugged.
Sexual Abuse – Non-consensual sex with an elderly resident is not only a crime, but is also sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can include photographing nude residents, rape, sodomy, masturbation, or being forced to watch graphic or lewd conduct.
Emotional Abuse – Emotional abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse. Elderly residents may find themselves at the receiving end of an angry and frustrated caregiver. This can result in verbal assaults, humiliation, threats, or yelling. While not easy to recognize at first, emotional abuse quickly takes its toll on elderly residents who may become depressed, withdrawn, or suicidal.
Neglect – When a caregiver refuses to properly care for a senior or incapacitated resident, they can be found guilty of neglect. Neglect can include withholding water or food, improperly supervising patients, not performing daily hygiene or care, letting residents sit in excrement or urine, and isolation.
Abandonment – When a caregiver leaves an incapacitated person or elderly person alone in public, they could be found guilty of abandonment. This could be leaving a senior uncared for in a public place and not returning.
Financial Abuse – This is also one of the most common forms of abuse. Seniors are extremely vulnerable to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous caregivers and institutions. They may take cash or possessions from them, convince them to write a check, or persuade them into transferring sums of money to them. Seniors are also vulnerable to being a victim of investment fraud.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The signs of nursing home abuse may not be obvious. Many families are often shocked and distraught to learn that their loved one has been abused. They often harbor feelings of guilt that they did not recognize the signs of the abuse immediately. Each type of abuse has its own unique signs to watch for. If you recognize any of these signs of abuse, report your suspicions and then contact our law firm immediately.
Scars, cuts, bruises, bed sores, restraint marks, broken bones, reports of being physically assaulted.
Unexplained STDs, genital lacerations or bruises, infections, reports of being sexually abused.
Depression, anxiety, withdrawn, agitated, mood changes, and reports of emotional abuse.
Unsanitary conditions, bodily smells, ulcers, untreated bed sores, malnutrition, weight loss, dehydration, and reports of neglect.
Finding an elderly patient alone on the street or a public place. Being abandoned in their home with no caregivers or reports of being abandoned
Large unexplained money transfers, sudden changes in financial documents or wills, bank accounts being suddenly opened or closed, and reports of being financially cheated.
Why Hire an Attorney?
Accusing a nursing home or caregiver of abuse is serious, and allegations are not taken lightly by institutions or by law enforcement. A criminal or civil investigation must be performed to establish liability and prove abuse. Having an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer on your side from the start will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Without an attorney on your side, it’s often your loved one’s word against their abuser’s word.
Why Choose Us?
At Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton, our nursing home abuse attorneys offer compassionate, yet aggressive legal representation during this difficult time. We know that your main concern is protecting your loved one from abuse and holding the negligent institution responsible. We fight for you so that you can focus your energy on your loved one and helping them heal after devastating abuse. We believe in holding abusers and the institutions that harbor them accountable, so that we can protect others from further abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse FAQ
- What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse? If you suspect nursing home abuse, contact the nursing home’s administration to report the abuse. If you suspect that your loved one’s life may be in danger, however, call 911 immediately. Once you’ve reported the abuse to the nursing home, you should contact the Arkansas Adult Protective Services department and a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
- How much is a nursing home abuse lawsuit worth?
Your lawsuit’s worth will be dependent on many factors, including the type of injuries suffered and the type of abuse inflicted. If your loved one sustained significant injury, then your lawsuit may be worth significantly more.
- Should I remove my loved one from the nursing home?
Before you remove your loved one from the nursing home, contact our attorneys at Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton. We can help you keep your loved one safe and determine the best course of action. Be sure to have alternative living arrangements made before removing them from their nursing home
- What qualifies as neglect in a nursing home?
Failure to provide the basic care, such as food, clothing, supervision, and hygiene is considered neglect. If these failures are intentional or careless determine if the case against the nursing home moves forward as a case of neglect or abuse. Unlike neglect, abuse is intentional.
- Why is abuse common in nursing homes?
There are many factors that contribute to an environment where abuse and neglect are common in the nursing home setting: inadequately trained staff, hiring staff with history of violence, inadequate staff-to-patient ratios, isolation of residents, and reluctance of residents to report abuse out of fear of retaliation.