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Turn to a Laurel Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer on Behalf of Your Loved Ones

The decision to place a loved one in a Maryland long-term care facility — such as a nursing home or assisted living facility (ALF) — can be difficult. The last thing you should have to worry about is whether your family member is being well-cared for or not. If you suspect that the people in the facility have been abusive or neglectful toward your family member, a Laurel nursing home abuse lawyer at the Law Office of Thomas E. Pyles, PA will help you find justice.  

Elderly man putting a hand up to stop nursing home abuse from care worker

What Constitutes Maryland Nursing Home Abuse?

Nearly 2.5 million Americans live either in nursing homes or ALFs and that number is growing as the United States population continues to age. Along with this growth comes increasing concerns about abuse of residents in the facilities charged with their care. Nursing home abuse can result in personal injury from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or can take the form of financial abuse. 

A Laurel nursing home abuse lawyer can help you determine whether you have a legal case for damages against the facility and/or its employees who caused your loved one harm. The following will help you better understand the types of nursing home abuse we have dealt with and what to look for when determining if you have a nursing home abuse case.

Physical Abuse May Not Always Be Obvious

Physical violence is a common type of nursing home abuse. It usually involves some kind of contact or restraint that causes the non-consenting resident harm. If your loved one is showing signs of physical abuse — broken bones, a fractured hip, unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns —he or she could be experiencing nursing home physical abuse. Examples include:

  • Putting the resident in restraints or isolating them
  • Hitting, scratching, biting, or kicking the resident
  • Pushing, shoving, or shaking the person
  • Burning or kicking the resident
  • Threatening him or her with violence

Psychological or Emotional Abuse in Maryland Nursing Homes

Emotional nursing home abuse can cause severe psychological trauma. If your loved one is experiencing new signs of emotional distress or illness, such as anxiety, depression, or irritability, these could be signs that they are being emotionally abused. Ways that nursing home caregivers or people with access to your loved one could abuse them emotionally include:  

  • Engaging in behavior that intimidates them
  • Yelling or threatening them
  • Isolating the resident and not allowing them to interact with others
  • Belittling, demeaning, or humiliating them
  • Ignoring their requests 
  • Purposefully ignoring their needs

A Laurel Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help With Financial Abuse, Too

Many people do not think of financial abuse as a type of nursing home or elder abuse, but it is far too common. Financial abuse occurs when the person who is responsible for managing another’s finances takes advantage of that power and steals or misuses their financial resources, such as their property, money, or possessions. 

Usually, this happens in cases where an elderly person has handed over management of their finances to a caregiver, nursing home staff, or family members. If you see any of the following it could be an indication of financial abuse:

  • Inexplicable bank withdrawals
  • Unexplained worsening of the person’s financial condition
  • A dramatic change in spending habits
  • Valuable items go missing 
  • Bills go unpaid and necessary things like medical care are not being provided

Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Whether the abuse is physical or psychological, our elderly loved ones deserve better. Nursing homes are legally and contractually obligated to provide them with the best care possible and any type of abuse should not be tolerated. A Laurel nursing home abuse lawyer can help you take action against abusive nursing homes so that your loved ones can get the care they deserve.  

Sexual abuse is more common in nursing homes than people think. Usually perpetrated by a nursing home staff member or a fellow resident, sexual abuse occurs when a resident is forced, manipulated, or coerced into unwanted sexual conduct. Tragically, the victims of nursing home sexual abuse are often cognitively impaired and unable to report what is happening. Sexual abuse in nursing homes can range from rape to inappropriate touching, and almost everything in between. That said, it can take on forms that many people do not expect: 

  • Forced nudity
  • Forced viewing of masturbation or pornographic content
  • Photographing or recording residents in a state of undress and distributing that content online

Whatever form it may take, sexual abuse can cause severe emotional and psychological trauma. If your senior is suddenly withdrawn, depressed, fearful, or anxious about being alone, they may be victims of sexual abuse. A Laurel nursing home abuse attorney can help you take action to stop this abuse and hold the abusers and those who facilitated it accountable.   

We Can Also Be Your Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers

Another form of nursing home case is neglect. The distinction between neglect and abuse is that abuse is done with intent and neglect is a result of negligence or indifference. Nursing home neglect is defined as failing to care for a resident to the degree, that a reasonable person in the same position would exercise. The standard for nursing home negligence is whether the caregiver acted as an ordinary care provider in the same position would have. Neglect can include any of the following physical or mental neglect, failure to prevent infection or bedsores, unreasonable use of restraints on patients, failure to notify medical doctors of medical issues, and failure to prevent dehydration and malnutrition.

There are a number of physicians who care for nursing home patients. There are times when the care that is provided by physicians is inadequate and can lead to a medical malpractice case. Doctors and healthcare providers do not have the right to ignore or not fully care for nursing home patients. There is a small minority of medical doctors that do not provide the same level of care to someone who is elderly and in a nursing home as opposed to other patients. These individuals deserve the same respect as anyone else, and we’re happy to be your nursing home neglect lawyer.

Unsanitary Conditions in Nursing Homes

Another common form of neglect is the nursing home’s failure to provide sanitary conditions for its residents. Failure to adequately clean the facility can increase the risk of transmission of illnesses and infections. Nursing homes should not only attend to the cleanliness of the resident’s rooms, but should also be diligent in cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting furniture, tables, floors, and other areas in common spaces. Unclean spaces not only become breeding grounds for bacteria but also encourage insect and rodent infestation, which greatly increases the risk of contagious diseases. 

Unsanitary conditions can also lead to physical injuries, especially for those residents with mobility and balance issues or impaired vision. Cluttered hallways and rooms can easily cause trip and fall accidents. Unsanitary conditions should not be tolerated. If your loved one has suffered an injury or illness due to unsanitary conditions, an experienced Laurel nursing home neglect lawyer can hold the nursing home accountable. 

Talk to a Laurel Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer After Elopement

Nursing homes have an obligation to keep their residents safe. This requires adequate supervision and staffing, which many nursing homes fail to provide. As a result, residents who should not be left unsupervised can wander out of the facility. This can be especially serious for residents suffering from cognitive or mobility issues, resulting in serious injury or even death. 

Elopement is the term used to describe when a resident leaves the nursing home premises. If your loved one has left the nursing home facility, a Laurel nursing home neglect lawyer can help you hold the nursing home accountable for any harm they may have suffered. 

Abandonment in Nursing Homes

Another problem caused by inadequate staffing in nursing homes is abandonment. Abandonment in the context of nursing homes doesn’t necessarily mean that the resident is physically abandoned. Rather, it refers to the nursing home’s failure to provide necessary care for its residents. Abandonment can sometimes be difficult to identify, but often involves the following: 

  • Failure to provide medications according to the resident’s schedule 
  • Requests for assistance or care are not responded to in a timely manner or are completely ignored
  • Failure to turn or shift residents to prevent bedsores
  • Failure to check on patients regularly to ensure that their needs are being met
  • Failure to provide help while eating

Most nursing homes will attempt to hide the fact that they aren’t providing adequate care, so they will be sure to make their presence known when you visit. Here are some signs to look for if you suspect that your loved one is not receiving the care they deserve: 

  • Bedsores or other lesions
  • Unkempt appearances such as unwashed hair or dirty clothes
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Unusually fatigued 
  • Confusion or disorientation

If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abandonment, trust your instincts and speak with a Laurel nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as possible. 

Confinement and Restraint

In order to avoid issues involving wandering or elopement, some nursing homes will restrain residents in their beds or lock them in their rooms. This is typically the result of understaffing and poor management. And while it may seem like the better option in comparison to residents wandering around without supervision, it can result in severe physical harm and emotional or psychological trauma. The bottom line is that confinement and restraint are serious breaches of the level of care that nursing homes are contractually obligated to provide. If you suspect that your loved one has been confined to their room or somehow restrained, an attorney can investigate and take immediate legal action.

How a Laurel Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You & Your Family

If you believe your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, the attorneys at The Law Office of Thomas E. Pyles, PA can help. A lawyer will guide you through the legal system, helping to protect your loved one and hold the abusers responsible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Contact one of our Maryland attorneys today by calling 301-705-5006. We assist clients throughout Maryland, including Waldorf, Leonardtown, and more. 

Laurel, MD Law Office

601 7th Street601 7th Street
Suite 202
Laurel , MD 20707
Phone: 301-723-7076
Fax: 301-705-6565
Email: [email protected]

Hours –

  • Mon – Fri 8am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 10:00am – 12:00pm