Tucson Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys, Contact Our Arizona Law Firm Today!
According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, elderly abuse is the intentional infliction of physical harm, an injury caused by negligent acts or omissions, unreasonable confinement, sexual abuse, or sexual assault. It includes the impairment of physical condition as evidenced by skin bruising, pressure sores, bleeding, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling, injury to any internal organ, or any physical condition that imperils health or welfare.
Elderly abuse is not just limited to abuse that occurs at the individual’s home, but also includes abuse that occurs at the thousands of nursing home facilities throughout the U.S. In nearly every case of nursing home abuse, the root cause can be traced back to negligence. That negligence can include any behavior that deprives a nursing home resident of food, water, medicine, health services, heat, air-conditioning or basic shelter.
In fact, the Nursing Home Abuse Center reported that three million Americans live in nursing home facilities, and that 44 percent of those facilities had reported some type of abuse.
What Are Some Common Examples of Tucson Nursing Home Abuse?
Although there are a number of different types of nursing home abuses, the most commonly reported include:
- Not Providing Medication – Caregivers at nursing facilities who fail to administer medication to nursing home residents, or fail to give them the proper dosage, are guilty of nursing home abuse.
- Not Providing Hygiene Services – Another type of abuse occurs when caregivers do not provide basic hygiene services such as bathing, washing, and other personal grooming. This also includes caregivers who allow residents to lie or sit in soiled clothing or on soiled bed sheets.
- Not Providing Adequate Clothing For Weather – Nursing home residents may be deprived of warm clothing when the temperature is cold.
- Not Providing Medical Assistance In a Timely Fashion – Another example of abuse occurs when caregivers delay in providing assistance to nursing home residents who suffer a medical emergency.
- Not Providing Adequate Supervision – This refers to caregivers who fail to provide supervision of residents that results in harm or injury caused by the resident. For example, if a caregiver is supposed to help a resident shower, and the resident slips and falls in the shower because the caregiver was not present, that is an example of a lack of supervision.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Arizona
If you have a family member who lives in a nursing home, it’s important for you to be aware of some of the common signs that could indicate abuse, including:
- Bruises – If you notice unusual bruises on your loved one, especially in places that are not visible, it could be a sign of physical abuse. The same applies to any unusual welts, lacerations or scratches that could indicate a physical altercation took place.
- Scars – Any scars you notice could indicate that your loved one suffered cuts or wounds that healed over.
- Bedsores – Bedsores develop on a nursing home resident’s body when that person is not moved for a long period of time. If you notice your loved one has bedsores, that is often a sign that caregivers are not doing their job, part of which includes moving residents into different positions, or making sure that residents are taken out of their beds for walks or for trips in their wheelchairs.
- Disheveled Appearance – If you notice that your family member’s appearance has changed significantly, including matted, unwashed hair, dirty clothing and bad hygiene, this is also a possible sign of neglect.
- Lack of Communication – Sometimes, nursing home residents who suffer abuse will withdraw from social activities and stop communicating, even with family members. Previously, your loved one was happy to see you when you visited; now your loved one barely acknowledges your presence, and doesn’t say anything. This is a red flag you should monitor.
- Refusing to See Visitors – Nursing home residents who are abused may feel a sense of guilt and shame and, as a result, they may refuse to see any visitors, including family members. If the person you love in a nursing home consistently refuses to see you, and doesn’t provide any reason why, then this should be a real cause for concern.
In Arizona, the law requires that people – such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and caregivers – at nursing homes who supervise or care for a vulnerable adult report any suspicion of abuse or neglect to Adult Protective Services.
Failure to report an incidence of neglect or abuse could result in conviction for a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a possible penalty of six months in jail and a fine of as much as $2,500.
Finding a Tucson Nursing Home Attorney
The team at Miller Weber Kory LLP has spent decades fighting for the rights of nursing home residents in Tucson. We are advocates for elderly residents of care facilities who have been exploited, abused and neglected, and we have the resources to obtain justice in the form of compensation for pain and suffering. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.