When you entrust your elderly loved one to the care of a nursing home, you expect the staff to provide the best level of care possible. You want your loved one to have all of his or her needs met in a safe environment. For many families, nursing homes are the best option for long-term, professional care – but in some cases, these facilities fail to live up to that standard of care.
If your loved one experienced abuse, mistreatment, or neglect at the hands of a nursing home, you may be able to pursue legal action. The Milwaukee nursing home abuse lawyers from Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. can assist you in seeking justice for your case.
Our clients select the Milwaukee personal injury lawyers at Cannon & Dunphy for their elder abuse claims due to our compassion, tenacity, and significant litigation experience.
Nursing home neglect and abuse are serious concerns that impact the health, safety, and wellness of your elderly loved ones. Millions of older adults entrust their care to nursing home facilities across the United States. Elder abuse within a facility can be difficult to detect and prosecute.
Many abusers tend to hide the elderly person’s injuries from his or her family or supervisors. Abusers can also intimidate an elderly person into keeping quiet about the abuse. If the elderly person suffers from a neurological condition, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, he or she may not be able to tell a friend, family member, or caregiver about the abuse. As a result, many cases of elder abuse go unreported.
Many nursing homes are safe and professional facilities. However, abuse in elder care facilities is a prevalent and widespread issue. Knowing the signs of nursing home neglect and abuse can help you identify if your loved one is experiencing harm and allow you to seek help.
The Center for Disease Control classifies nursing home abuse into five main categories: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment and neglect, and financial abuse.
Nursing home neglect and abuse in Wisconsin can go unnoticed for a long period of time. Abusive caregivers can limit a family’s access to an elderly person and hide his or her injuries before a visit. An elderly person may not have the capacity to describe what happened to him or her, or he or she could feel shame at the incident.
However, common physical and psychological signs can point to an incidence of elder abuse.
Some forms of nursing home abuse, such as sexual assault or financial abuse, can be difficult to detect. If your elderly loved one tells you that he or she is experiencing abuse, seek help from a Milwaukee nursing home abuse attorney as soon as you can. If you notice any of these signs, report the abuse to the nursing home supervisor or contact the police or the Wisconsin Department of Quality Assurance (DQA): .
The one-on-one personal and compassionate care we received from Bill, his assistant, Wendy, and their staff was beyond what anyone would expect. We received a just settlement and were more than satisfied. I highly recommend Cannon & Dunphy. – Julaine
Aside from neglect, various types of abuse can occur in nursing homes. Understanding these types and being able to identify their signs can be crucial for the well-being of residents. If you notice any of the following signs, it is crucial to seek help for your loved one right away.
Financial abuse in nursing homes is often underreported, but it can be extremely damaging. Potential signs of financial exploitation may include:
Signs of physical abuse are often more visible than other indicators of mistreatment. Whether it’s through force, misuse of restraints, or any other means that can cause physical harm, some of the most common indicators include:
Emotional or psychological abuse may not leave visible scars, but its impact can be just as profound. Common signs of emotional abuse may include:
Sexual abuse in nursing homes occurs far more often than many people believe. Unfortunately, many victims feel scared and ashamed, which can prevent them from speaking up and seeking help. Some of the most common signs of sexual abuse include:
Unless the nursing home has an arbitration agreement in place that limits your right to file a lawsuit, you can file a claim against a nursing home for abuse and negligence through the Wisconsin civil court. If an arbitration agreement is in place, you will have to bring a copy of the document to an attorney who can advise you of possible legal pathways.
Under Wisconsin law, you have three years from the date of the discovery of the injury or abuse to file this lawsuit. You can file a claim on behalf of your loved one if you are the legal guardian or personal representative of your loved one’s estate. You can also take your loved one to a free consultation with a Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorney to discuss his or her legal options.
To file a claim against a negligent nursing home, you will need to prove the following three elements:
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to abuse or neglect within a Milwaukee nursing home, the path to justice can be intricate and emotionally challenging. At Cannon & Dunphy S.C., our attorneys can guide you through every step of the process and hold the facility accountable for the harm that you or loved one has suffered.
Here are some of the ways that our Milwaukee nursing home abuse attorneys can help you:
We know that nursing homes play a critical role in our society, providing care to elderly and vulnerable populations when they need it most. However, as with any institution, nursing homes do not always uphold their duties. These facilities can be susceptible to problems, some of which can lead to instances of abuse and neglect.
One of the primary factors contributing to abuse and neglect in nursing homes is staffing shortages. A facility that does not have enough staff members to adequately care for its residents is likely to see lapses in care.
When there are fewer caregivers available, these workers often find themselves under pressure to manage too many tasks in a limited amount of time. This can lead to neglect, as residents may not receive the necessary attention or timely assistance. Overworked staff may also experience burnout, which can lead to decreased empathy and compassion, further compromising the quality of care.
The absence of adequate training and experience among staff members can also play a significant role in the occurrence of abuse and neglect. Without proper training, caregivers may not know how to handle specific situations or cater to the unique needs of different residents.
Inexperienced caregivers might be unfamiliar with the best practices or techniques to care for individuals, especially those with severe health conditions or cognitive impairments. Furthermore, they may not recognize the early signs of a medical issue or deteriorating health, leading to delays in necessary medical attention.
Nursing homes with weak supervision and governance structures are at an increased risk of abuse and neglect incidents. If there’s no system in place for monitoring staff behavior or for residents and their families to report concerns, issues can go unnoticed and unaddressed.
Proper governance ensures that there are strict protocols and standards in place, and that any deviations from these standards are promptly dealt with. In the absence of strong oversight, facilities may become complacent, not holding staff members accountable for their actions.
While many caregivers enter the profession with the best of intentions, problems with individual caregivers can still arise. Personal issues, such as substance abuse, mental health challenges, or personal stresses, can impair their ability to provide care effectively.
Furthermore, some individuals may not have the temperament or patience required for the job, leading to episodes of frustration or aggression. It’s crucial for nursing homes to thoroughly screen their staff and provide them with resources to address personal challenges that might impact their work.
Lastly, the vulnerability of nursing home residents can inherently make them more susceptible to abuse and neglect. Many residents are frail, suffer from cognitive impairments, or are unable to communicate effectively. This can make it difficult for them to report or even recognize abusive behaviors.
Abusers may take advantage of this vulnerability, knowing that their actions might go unnoticed or unreported. Although abuse can happen to anyone, families and advocates must be vigilant, regularly monitor the well-being of residents, and ensure they are in an environment where they are respected and cared for.
Discovering that a loved one might be facing abuse or neglect in a nursing home can be deeply distressing. In these situations, it’s crucial to act promptly in order to protect your loved one’s rights and well-being. Here are the steps you should take if you suspect abuse or neglect in a Milwaukee nursing home:
Do you have a loved one who suffered from abuse at the hands of a nursing home caregiver? Cannon & Dunphy can assist you throughout the litigation process.
Contact Cannon & Dunphy today to schedule your free consultation at our Milwaukee offices.