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How to protect loved ones from nursing home abuse and neglect in Kentucky

1277878_check_list sxchu username FanginhoonUnfortunately, nursing homes often place the most vulnerable members of our society at risk in their haste to turn a profit. Despite federal guidelines, elderly patients who reside in skilled nursing facilities regularly suffer abuse or neglect at the hands of the individuals who are tasked with their care. In many cases, chronic understaffing results in resident harm.

Common signs of senior citizen abuse include pressure ulcers which are more commonly known as bed sores, serious or frequent falls, combativeness, broken bones, weight loss, and more. For example, pressure ulcers can occur when a nursing home patient is not fed properly or moved at regular intervals. Similarly, overworked staff may be stretched too thin to care for residents’ needs and protect residents from dangers such as falling. In order to prevent dangerous falls, facility residents may simply need additional restroom breaks or senors, alarms or rails installed near their beds.

In order to prevent your loved one from becoming a statistic, nursing home workers should conduct an assessment upon admission. After an initial assessment, a care plan should be drafted to meet the individual residents’ needs and address their risk factors.

Other ways to protect your loved one’s safety include random visits and befriending a few of the facility staff who care for your family member. If you are pleasant with a facility worker, the employee may be more inclined to keep you updated regarding your loved one’s health status and the quality of care he or she is receiving. By the same token, it is more difficult for nursing home employees to hide injuries and signs of abuse if they do not know when family members will be visiting. If you suspect that your family member is being abused or neglected at any point, you should voice your concerns immediately.

Another way to evaluate a nursing home is to review the facility’s record on medicare.gov prior to your loved one’s admission. Since each skilled nursing facility that accepts Medicare must be inspected on an annual basis, the website can provide family members with additional information regarding the quality of care offered to nursing home residents.

Nursing homes in Kentucky are required to care for residents in a reasonable manner. Skilled nursing facility staff may breach this duty by committing physical or verbal abuse, neglect, and a variety of other acts. If your loved one was injured or died as a result of negligent conduct at a Kentucky nursing home, you may be entitled to sue for damages. Contact a Kentucky nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer to discuss your rights in greater detail.

If you or a close relative suffered abuse or neglect while residing at a Kentucky skilled nursing facility, you are advised to speak with a knowledgeable Bowling Green personal injury attorney about your rights. To schedule a free confidential consultation with a lawyer, call English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP at (270) 781-6500 or contact us through our website.

Additional Resources:

Nursing home neglect: What to look for to protect loved ones, by Kelly Roncace, South Jersey Times

More Blog Posts:

Nursing home abuse, lack of care brings $38 million settlement for Kentucky, other states, February 28, 2015, Kentucky Personal Injury Attorneys Blog

Nursing home fall prevention measures vital for Kentucky seniors, February 23, 2015, Kentucky Personal Injury Attorneys Blog

Photo Credit: Fanginhoon, MorgueFile