Help for Maryland Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Leading the charge for patients’ rights in Columbia, Baltimore and throughout the State
There may come a time where it is necessary for you or your loved one to move into a nursing home. You would have the right, then, to expect that the nurses, doctors and staff at these facilities would treat patients with respect and dignity, and ensure that they are cared for in their times of need. When a healthcare worker commits an act of negligence or abuse against an elderly patient, you may be forced to take legal action to ensure the safety of your loved one – or of yourself.
At Plaxen & Adler, P.A., we offer nursing home residents and their families options after they have suffered harm because of negligence or abuse. Our personal injury clients in Columbia, Baltimore and throughout Maryland have relied on us for 30 years to ensure that justice is served, and we do not back down from a fight when it comes to protecting our clients and their futures. When you need aggressive representation on behalf of a neglected love one, rely on the personal injury law firm Maryland trusts and choose Plaxen & Adler, P.A. to fight for you.
What you should know about nursing home neglect
The majority of nursing home neglect cases in Maryland and throughout the country happen not out of malicious intent, but because of understaffing, underfunding and overcrowding. According to the Census data, almost 14% of Maryland’s population in 2014 was age 65 and over, and the largest population of people fall between 40 and 65; that means an increased number of people are in nursing homes – and an even larger boom is only a few years away. This strains what little resources nursing homes are given to take care of an aging population. And since people live longer these days than ever, there are fewer spots left.
Negligent care in a nursing home is never acceptable. Nursing home abuse and neglect is against the law in Maryland. When an administrator, healthcare worker or staff worker fails to provide the expected level of care, it is your loved one who suffers. This negligence may entitle your family member to compensation to help cover medical expenses, pain and suffering. The Baltimore nursing home negligence attorneys of Plaxen & Adler, P.A. will fight to ensure that justice is served if your loved one suffers harm.
Common signs of nursing home neglect
Neglect can take many forms, and not all of the signs are obvious at first glance. Knowing what those signs are can help you get the help your loved one needs. Some of the more common signs your loved one may be neglected include:
- Changes in hygiene, such as wearing dirty clothes or failing to bathe
- Rapid or extreme weight loss as a result of malnutrition, which may occur if your loved one has a special diet he or she must adhere to, or if your loved one refuses food
- Crowded halls or pathways, or objects/furniture throughout the facility that would impede mobility
- Bedsores, a common side effect for elderly residents in wheelchairs or who are immobile, and are left in one position too long, or are left in dirty clothing or sheets
- Defective or broken bedrails that never seem to get fixed or switched out
- Bruises or lacerations as a result of those defective bedrails, or as a result of an impatient healthcare provider being too rough when drawing blood for medical reasons
- Changes in personality/ feelings of depression, anxiety or isolation
- Changes in behavior that indicate a problem with medications
Types of nursing home neglect
Knowing the different types of neglect and their effects is essential to recognizing when a care provider is neglecting your loved one. They include:
- Emotional or social neglect. When a nursing home resident is ignored, left alone, or snapped at by staff, that person can become withdrawn. Changes in behavior or symptoms that mimic dementia are common.
- Hygiene neglect. Patients may not receive adequate help with bathing or other hygiene practices. Unsanitary living conditions like soiled bedding and clothing, dirt or evidence of bugs can point to this form of neglect.
- Basic needs neglect. Failure to meet your loved one’s basic needs can leave them malnourished and dehydrated. Those needs extend to a safe and clean environment; frequent falls and unexplained injuries may indicate an unsafe living space.
- Medical neglect. If a facility is understaffed or cutting corners, your loved one may not get the medical treatment he or she needs. Untreated injuries or conditions, bedsores, infected cuts or generally declining health can all indicate medical neglect.
Other forms of nursing home abuse
Though most cases of nursing home abuse are rooted in negligence, some people are exposed to deliberate abuse as well. At Plaxen & Adler, P.A., we represent victims of:
- Physical abuse by administrators, staff or other residents
- Emotional abuse by administrators, staff or other residents
- Sexual abuse by administrators, staff or other residents
- Financial abuse by administrators, staff or other residents
Our elderly loved ones deserve to live out their golden years in as much comfort and stability as possible. The attorneys of Plaxen & Adler, P.A. put their years of fighting on behalf of the injured to work for all Maryland clients who have suffered at the hands of a healthcare provider. We know what it takes to build a successful case of medical negligence, and how to create options for you and your family moving forward. If your loved one has died because of mistreatment, we can bring a wrongful death case against the people who are responsible for your loss. We will advocate for justice on your behalf.
Resident-on-resident nursing home abuse
A new study out of Weill Cornell Medical College has found that resident-on-resident abuse is far more common than you might think, according to New America Media. Their researchers surveyed approximately 2000 people among 10 different facilities “to track inappropriate, disruptive and hostile behavior between residents,” and discovered a pattern of behavior where residents were more at risk from other residents than they were from staff or healthcare providers. Some of the problems they encountered included:
- Residents physically assaulting other residents by biting, hitting or kicking them
- Residents making unwanted sexual advances or exposing themselves
- Residents intimidating or verbally abusing residents by cursing or screaming
- Residents entering rooms without being welcomed
- Residents rifling through the belongings of other residents
Some of the instances reported were deemed minor, but the problems can quickly escalate. The study also found that certain factors could increase the likelihood of residents abusing one another. They include:
- Overcrowding in the nursing home
- Understaffing and low staff-to-resident ratios
- Desensitization of the staff (or other residents) to conflicts
- Failing to resolve conflicts in their beginning stages
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Resources in Maryland
Help for elderly victims of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and long-term care facilities
Plaxen & Adler, P.A. provides comprehensive representation to injury victims in Columbia, Baltimore and throughout Maryland. With multiple offices throughout the state, we are always close by when you need us the most. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home in Maryland, we want to help you help them by fighting on their behalf. Please call 410.988.4449 or fill out our contact form to speak with an experienced Baltimore nursing home neglect lawyer today.