Choosing the Right Nursing Home Facility

Louisville, KY Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers - Gladstein LawPicking a nursing home for your loved one can be overwhelming. There are numerous choices you have to make and financial decisions that can make nursing home selections a time of high stress. Regardless of your endless to-do list, it is imperative that you approach the process as prepared as possible so that you can ensure you pick the right nursing home.

First, consider the level of care your loved one needs and what type of care is most important to them. Almost all nursing home residents need some sort of assistance with their day-to-day activities. Some may require physical therapy while others need specialized care for dementia – these specific care needs will help you narrow down the list of possible facilities. You may also want to consider any religious affiliations or social activities offered at the nursing home – so that it is as suitable as possible for your loved one.

Visit the Nursing Home More Than Once

You should visit several nursing homes to get a broader perspective on the options available in Louisville and the surrounding areas. You will also want to verify if the nursing home has their Medicare certifications if your loved one will be billing via Medicare insurance. The certifications mean that the nursing home has passed the independent required inspection – ask to see that inspection document to verify it is valid.

You should visit the nursing home you are considering more than once and at different times of the day. A few things to look for during those visits include:

  • The appearance of the patients – are they well groomed, clean, etc.?
  • See how much staff is there during the week as well as on the weekends.
  • Make sure the facility has enough staff members for each patient in the facility.
  • Ensure the facility is well-maintained at all times and that there are no foul odors – which may indicate poor maintenance.
  • Inquire about their food and even ask to sample that food. Ask about what dietary considerations are used when creating their menus and if they have specialized menus for those suffering from dietary restrictions.

Lastly, make sure that the nursing home location is convenient for you and other family members to visit frequently. Also, any emergency contacts listed with the nursing home should be within a short driving distance from the facility.

Be on the Lookout for Signs of Neglect or Abuse

When you visit your loved one, always be on the lookout for signs of nursing home neglect or abuse – such as bedsores, unexplained cuts/bruises, malnutrition/dehydration, etc. If you recognize any of the symptoms of abuse, remove your loved one and contact the authorities right away.

Speak with a Louisville Attorney Regarding Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing homes are often understaffed and underfunded, but that is no excuse for the poor treatment some facilities give to their residents. If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC today. We have helped numerous nursing home abuse victims receive compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering. Call us for a free consultation at 800-991-0474 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.

Can I Sue for Bedsores?

Louisville, KY Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers - Gladstein Law

Residents in long-term care facilities, hospitals and even nursing homes are often too frail or weak to move their bodies frequently. As a result, they may spend countless hours in the same position – whether it is in a chair, bed or even wheelchair. This limited mobility can lead to painful, life-threatening pressure sores, also known as bedsores or decubitus ulcers.

Any patient who develops bedsores may have grounds for a lawsuit, because bedsores are the direct result of patient neglect or abuse. This is even more applicable if the patient was admitted without bedsores or has had no history of bedsores in the past.

What are Bedsores?

Bedsores occur in 11 percent of nursing home patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These lesions appear on the skin and are the result of direct, constant pressure on bony portions of the body such as the spine, back of the head, hips, shoulder blades, tailbone, elbows, heels and ankles. Increased, constant pressure to these areas depletes oxygen and blood supply to the skin, which forces the tissue to experience cell death.

Individuals that have limited mobility or who are bed-ridden often experience bedsores. Poor circulation or nutrition can also cause these sores to develop. Bedsores are classified into four stages – with stage four being the most serious and possibly life-threatening.

Bedsores Are Not a Patient’s Fault

A bedsore is not something that can be blamed on the patient. There are federal laws that protect hospital patients and nursing home residents and are designed to ensure they receive proper medical care. When the federal standards are not applied, a patient can develop bedsores.

Nursing homes and hospitals are required under that law to develop care plans for their patients. These care plans entail frequent movement (whether that means shifting the patient’s body weight often or moving them in and out of bed) to prevent bedsores from developing. Failure to reposition a patient and development of bedsores is the direct result of the medical facility’s negligence.

When Treatment is Not Received in Time

If a patient develops bedsores or arrives at a facility with bedsores, the facility is also required to administer treatment immediately. Without treatment, a bedsore will continue from stage one to stage four. By stage four, reconstruction and serious surgery may be required to remove infected and dead tissue. Stage four bedsores have the highest complication and death rate – and even if a patient survives, they will have a long, painful recovery.

Receiving Compensation – Contact a Nursing Home Abuse or Malpractice Attorney

If your loved one has developed bedsores, contact an attorney right away. An attorney can hold the negligent nursing home or medical facility responsible for their actions. Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC offers nursing home abuse victims and hospital injury victims the chance to receive compensation for their injuries. Call us at 800-991-0474 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

Most Common Signs of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

Aging parent careAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, of the 1.7 million licensed beds in registered nursing homes, 1.4 million were occupied as of 2013. Such a high number of elderly individuals in skilled healthcare facilities, coupled with the upward aging trend of the population, has led to an increased importance placed on the topic of elder care and abuse. When we place trust in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes to care for our aging relatives, it is assumed their well-being and comfort is the highest priority for caregivers. Unfortunately, there are numerous cases of nursing home negligence and abuse throughout the country.

Elder abuse can come in the form of physical or sexual abuse, exploitation of finances, abandonment, neglect and emotional abuse. While it may be relatively easy to spot financial or physical abuse of an elderly relative residing in a nursing home, spotting emotional abuse may not be as simple. Here we provide details on what emotional abuse is, common signs of emotional abuse within a nursing home, and steps you can take to care for your elderly relatives in this situation.

What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse can come in a variety of forms from caregivers at a nursing home. An individual may feel intimidated as the result of yelling or verbal threats, or one may experience humiliation or ridicule from caregivers on a consistent basis. Similarly, individuals can experience emotional abuse by being blamed or accused of things they did not do. When emotional abuse is discovered, it most often involves an elderly person being purposefully ignored by a caregiver or forced isolation from friends, family or facility activities. Each of these acts can cause unnecessary distress on the elderly individual and mild to severe emotional pain.

Warning Signs

It can be a true challenge to determine whether someone is experiencing emotional abuse in a nursing home. In fact, the majority of family members and friends of the victim of emotional abuse assume changes in behavior are due to dementia or overall declining health. However, warning signs of emotional abuse may include the following:

  • Frequent arguments or tension that is apparent between the elderly person and his or her caregiver
  • Changes to personality or communication with loved ones
  • Behavior that resembles dementia, including thumb sucking, mumbling, or rocking
  • Not being permitted to see the elderly individual due to a caregiver’s instruction
  • Withdrawing from everyday activities
  • Witness to verbally abuse behavior, including belittling, demeaning, controlling or rude comments from caregivers

These scenarios may indicate that emotional abuse is taking place and that some action is necessary to ensure your loved one is being cared for in an appropriate, beneficial manner.

Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC | A Nursing Home Negligence Law Firm

While elder abuse within a nursing home is not inevitable, nearly 23% of all elder abuse cases take place in this setting. It is a pressing concern for the aging population, and can be detrimental to the well-being of you and your loved ones. If you suspect a loved one is experiencing emotional abuse in their skilled care facility, know that we are here to help. Gladstein Law Firm is a Louisville, KY practice focused on obtaining a sufficient amount of compensation for those who have suffered from elder abuse in a nursing home. We are experts in identifying the legal and financial needs of our clients, and we fight aggressively to ensure those needs are met. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Tips for Choosing a Nursing Home

nursing home residentChoosing the right nursing home for your loved one can be a difficult process. Many factors come into play, including cost, special needs, location, and the level of care. However, one thing is certain – this is an extremely important decision. The happiness and well-being of your loved one is hanging in the balance. The following tips can help you choose the best nursing home for your loved one.

Ask people you know and trust for recommendations: You may have good friends or family members who have information about nursing homes in your area. They may have been researching facilities for an aging parent, or they may have heard another person’s rave reviews (or horror stories) about a particular facility.

Visit multiple facilities: By visiting many different facilities, you will begin to notice specific things that certain facilities have and others do not. If a certain service or feature is important to you (for example, if you would like to have a grocery shopping service), the lack of a particular service may be the deciding factor. Check to make sure the nursing home you are considering has current state licenses, and ask about any complaints or violations.

Choose a facility that’s conveniently located near loved ones: When your loved one is in a nearby facility with convenient visiting hours, it makes regular visits easier and more enjoyable. Some nursing homes also provide transportation to community activities and social engagements. These services will alleviate (or at least reduce) the need for you to be your loved one’s personal taxi service.

Make sure the facility can provide for the unique needs of all residents: No two residents are alike, and many could be suffering from ailments such as dementia. It is important that staff members are trained to work with these specific ailments, and that individual care plans are developed and followed.

Talk with staff: What is the best way to find out if staff are friendly, competent, and seem to enjoy their jobs? Talk to them. Ask them questions such as how long they have been working there, how residents are treated, and whether they like their jobs. While it is true that you cannot put complete trust in what they say, you can often walk away with a gut-feeling about the situation. As part of a larger investigative process, talking to staff can be immensely helpful.

Ask about medical staff and policies: This is an important question. How are routine exams, such as eye exams and dental cleanings, treated? Does the facility have policies surrounding improvement or deterioration of a resident’s condition? Are health care providers on staff to provide emergency care?

Inquire about staffing policies: This is another important question. If you were interviewing people to take care of your children, you wouldn’t want someone with a criminal history. The same precautions should be applied to people taking care of your elderly loved ones. Does the facility perform regular background checks and evaluations? Are there enough staff members on duty at any given time?

Make sure the facility is clean and comfortable: Give special attention to common areas such as bathrooms and kitchen facilities. Look for odors such as mold, garbage, and urine. Do the residents appear clean, well groomed, and happy? Don’t be afraid to ask the residents what they think about the place.

Observe mealtime and activities: Mealtime and activities should be pleasant social experiences for residents. Activities should be creative, well-planned, and offered regularly. Residents should be encouraged to go outside and get plenty of exercise. Meals should be nutritious, and residents with special nutritional needs should be accommodated.

Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC | A Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm

Use the above list as a guide when choosing a nursing home for your loved one. Once you’ve chosen the facility, check in with your loved one regularly, inquire about any concerns, and stop in at least periodically to see things for yourself. The vast majority of nursing homes offer excellent care to their residents. Unfortunately, there are exceptions to this rule. If problems arise, we can help.  Seth Gladstein is a Louisville, KY attorney who represents victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Contact us today for a free consultation.

KY Nursing Home Abuse Facts

Nursing Home AbuseEvery year, families across the country trust the care of their aging loved ones to nursing facilities. The majority of these nursing homes provide adequate care and treat their residents in a caring and compassionate manner. It’s a matter of fact, however, that nursing home abuse is all too common, and may go undetected until it is too late. Here are common types of nursing home abuse:

Physical Abuse

Seniors are often physically weak, making them vulnerable to physical attacks. Sadly, many nursing home residents will become the victims of staff who may hit, scratch, shove, and punch patients, causing them physical harm. They may also use restraints in an abusive manner in order to punish the resident. Physical abuse is the easiest to detect, making it easier to stop the abuse and punish the offenders. Unexplained injuries, bruises, and cuts are all signs that an elder is being physically abused.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can take many forms, from name calling to humiliation and ridicule. Some nursing staff may abuse the resident by abusing the resident’s privacy when being bathed or changing clothes. They may also scold the resident for having bowel or bladder accidents, traumatize him, or use profanity or abusive language toward him. Staff members may ignore cries for help or simply refuse to communicate with some residents.

Financial Abuse

Elders often have significant assets in the form of social security payments, pensions, and retirement savings. This can leave them open to financial abuse by unscrupulous caregivers that wish to exploit them for financial gain. Caregivers may coerce seniors into signing over deeds to their home, granting them power of attorney, or transferring funds to them. In some extreme cases, caregivers have pretended to be relatives of patients that were suffering from memory loss in order to con them out of their savings.

Elder Neglect

Neglect is prevalent in nursing facilities. Understaffed nursing homes often lack the resources to give each resident the attention and care that is needed. Some staff members neglect to feed residents regularly, don’t administer medication, and fail to attend to hygiene needs. Overt signs of neglect include bed sores, declining patient health not tied to medical reasons, and poor hygiene. Sometimes, there are no outward signs of neglect or abuse, making it difficult to detect and track down the offender.

What You Can Do About Elder Abuse and Neglect

The best remedy for abuse and neglect is prevention. Thoroughly research any nursing facility before registering your loved one. Check local agencies to find out if there have been any complaints against the facility. After your loved one becomes a resident, visit often and introduce yourself to the staff. If the staff knows that you are vigilant and involved in your loved one’s care, they are less likely to abuse or neglect. Visiting often also means that you will be more likely to notice signs of abuse before they escalate.

If Your Loved One Has Been Abused or Neglected

If you believe your loved one has been harmed in a nursing care setting, let us help. Our firm has defended many clients whose loved ones have been victims of neglect and abuse. We will listen to your case and provide you and your family with the care and dignity you deserve. Call us today or fill out the online form and we will respond within 24 hours.

Proper Nutrition Can Help Prevent Heal Bedsores

nursing home nutritionBedsores (more formally known as pressure ulcers) are common injuries for nursing home residents who spend the majority of their time sitting or laying in bed. Proper professional care can prevent bedsores, and knowing the risks can help you take care of your elderly family member.

Potential risk factors for developing bedsores in a nursing home:

  • Restricted mobility (if you require a wheelchair to get around)
  • Diseases and other health conditions that inhibit blood flow
  • Fragile or delicate skin
  • Incontinence
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Of these, nutrition is the risk factor over which nursing home residents and their families have the most control. So, what can you do to help prevent and heal bedsores?

Managing Nutrition to Reduce the Risk of Pressure Ulcers

Nutrition plays an important role in managing health conditions for people of all ages, but for the elderly in particular. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel identifies energy level, protein intake, and arginine supplementation as three key factors tying proper nutrition to a reduced risk for bedsores. Maintaining a healthy diet that integrates with your care plan is one of the best things you can do to promote your own health and wellbeing. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your loved ones are maintaining a healthy diet:

  • Strive to eat independently, so you control what goes into your body.
  • Read labels. Understanding the nutritional value of food and drinks is critical to making sure you get the vitamins, calories, and nutrition you need.
  • Monitor your weight gain or weight loss. Unless there are intervening medical considerations, you should try to keep your weight consistent with what it was before you went into nursing home care.
  • Seek professional advice. Doctors and nutritionists specializing in elder care can help you eat healthy and avoid the risks of inadequate nutrition.

Of course, your nursing home care providers should be doing these for you. It is their job to take care of you, and making sure that you are comfortable and healthy is fundamental to their role. In fact, when a nursing home’s failure to provide adequate care results in bedsores, it is very possible that the nursing home is engaging in neglect or abuse. While we all expect nursing homes to make their residents’ well being their first priority, sadly, this is not always the case. As a result, it is important for residents and their families to feel empowered to both (i) take charge of their own nutrition, and (ii) stand up for themselves in the face of nursing home neglect or abuse.

If You Have Questions About Bedsores

For more information about the risks of bedsores and what you can do to protect yourself or your family from nursing home abuse or neglect, contact attorney Seth Gladstein online by filling out our online contact form or call 800-991-0474 today. We offer free, no obligation consultations. Contact us today to get the legal representation you need.

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