If your elder parent or relative is the victim of nursing home neglect, they and you have rights under the law. Elder neglect is a real problem, but without the right help, you may have a hard time getting the compensation you deserve to move forward and recover damages. Our nursing home neglect lawyers at Stewart Bell, PLLC may be able to help.
Has Your Loved One Suffered Nursing Home Neglect?
If your senior parent or loved one has suffered due to neglectful nursing home staff, the attorneys at Stewart Bell, PLLC are here to help.Contact Us
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You Have the Right to Justice
You deserve to be compensated for the pain you’ve suffered at the hands of neglectful staff. Let our attorneys help you fight for your rights.
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Helping You Face the Pain and Betrayal
You rely on the nursing home or assisted living facility to protect your loved one, to give them their medication, and to provide companionship. When they fail at this, and your loved one suffers at their hands, you have every right to feel betrayed, angry, and even scared. We want you to know we understand what you’re going through, and we’re here to help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys at Stewart Bell, PLLC have been helping nursing home neglect victims and their families fight for justice and compensation for years. We understand the pain our clients face in these cases, and we want to help make things right. If your loved one has been neglected by their nursing home staff, our aggressive attorneys will review every detail in their case, and fight to make sure no further harm comes to them.
Elder Neglect vs. Elder Abuse
Elder neglect is different from elder abuse. Abuse implies direct action or exploitation that causes harm. Neglect is the harm caused by failure to perform duties.
Physical neglect occurs when staff fails to attend to the basic needs of a patient, including hygiene, nutrition, or medical. It involves failure to provide medication, to change wound dressings and bandages, to attend to grooming, to aid in dressing, failure to provide food to maintain their health, and more.
Nursing home staff are also supposed to provide emotional support and companionship. When they fail to pay attention to the basic emotional needs of seniors, this is a form of neglect. It can cause emotional turmoil, anguish, distress, isolation, and fear. It can occur when the staff belittles, shames, or ignores their needs as adults.
Financial neglect occurs when the staff is supposed to provide aid in maintaining the basic financial responsibilities of the patient. This can include paying rent, bills, covering healthcare insurance, and even property taxes. If the staff ignores these important responsibilities and the senior ends up in financial turmoil, this is a form of neglect.
Abandonment is another form of neglect that occurs when the caregiver completely deserts the senior and leaves them entirely alone. If a caregiver is unable to continue their duties, they have a responsibility to secure new care, or at least inform others so that new care can be secured. If they refuse or fail to do so, they have committed neglect.
Common Causes of Nursing Home Neglect
There are a number of reasons why neglect happens in a nursing home. Understanding the reasons can help to understand what happened.
Many nursing homes in this day and age are wildly understaffed. This leads to a staff that is not able to fulfill the jobs as well as they should. Tragically, this causes innocent elders to suffer when they cannot get the care and attention they need.
Providing eldercare is a very specialized form of care, and, unfortunately, too many facilities don’t provide proper training. Undertrained staff is ineffective, and this can lead to severe consequences for the people under their care.
An overworked staff gets tired, clumsy, and makes bad decisions. This ties into the issues of understaffing. Overworked, fatigued staff can end up accidentally neglecting patients, or can even deliberately shirk their duties just from sheer exhaustion.
Underpaid, Unhappy Staff
When employees are unhappy, their work suffers. While this shouldn’t be the case, it is. When staff feels like they are undervalued or underpaid, they tend to fail to put forth the effort required to do their best work. Again, this ends up with tragic consequences for the victims.
If you’ve seen any signs of neglect in your loved one’s nursing home, you or your loved one may be entitled to compensation.
Protect Your Eldery Loved One’s Rights
Elder abuse is an unfortunate, hidden issue. While there are state agencies in place to conduct investigations regarding allegations of abuse, you should never assume that they are your best shot, or even that they’ll protect your best interests. They also can’t help when it comes to getting compensation for the harm that’s been done. You and your family deserve to be compensated for the physical harm, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, ongoing damage, medical bills, and other related losses your elderly loved one has suffered.
A West Virginia nursing home neglect lawyer like the experienced attorneys at Stewart Bell, PLLC can help you to recover the compensation to which you’re entitled. We know how to gather the evidence to hold the nursing home and staff members accountable for the harm they’ve caused. Let us help you to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Nursing Home Neglect FAQs
The first order of business is to get the authorities involved. Immediately contact the West Virginia Adult Protective Services, or APS, offices if your loved one is not under immediate threat. If they are in imminent danger, call the police.
APS will review your allegations to determine if the caregiver has potentially violated West Virginia state laws. If they have, APS will perform a detailed investigation of the case.
If APS discovers that a crime has been committed, they will bring in the authorities. Anyone who is convicted of neglect against a senior may be subject to a court-ordered sentence, without probation or suspension.
If your loved one has been the victim of neglect at the hands of a nursing home caregiver, you may be eligible to collect compensation for the damages they’ve suffered. APS will not get you these damages, however. They handle the criminal side. To get compensated, you’ll need help from an experienced elder neglect law firm like Stewart Bell, PLLC.