Assisted Living Facility Negligence Attorney
Legal Representation for families of victims of Assisted Living Facility Abuse and Neglect
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Assisted living is a hybrid between a retirement community and a nursing home. These facilities provide care for elderly people—or young people living with disabilities—who are unable to live independently but do not require the same level of care found in nursing homes. While the standard of care may be different than it is in a nursing home, many of the residents in assisted living facilities still suffer from health conditions that can impair their physical and cognitive abilities to care for themselves. Assisted living negligence is a very serious risk to the well-being of those in need of the care these facilities have to offer. These facilities are required to ensure a resident’s quality of life doesn’t suffer. If you believe your loved one may be experiencing abuse or neglect, contact an Assisted Living Facility Negligence Attorney from The Carlson Law Firm.
The Carlson Law Firm has more than 40 years of experience representing victims and their families through the aftermath of personal injuries. Our compassionate attorneys understand that any form of neglect or abuse in assisted living facilities may be difficult for family members and loved ones to face. But the fight for justice has never been an easy one. Our legal team has some of the leading legal experts in elderly care neglect. You have the power to hold negligent parties responsible and prevent others from suffering in the same way your loved one has.
What type of negligence occurs in assisted living facilities?
Residents of assisted living facilities are still vulnerable to the same of abuse and neglect as those who are more dependent on nursing home care. These facilities often don’t receive the level of scrutiny that nursing homes do. But seniors and other dependents in these facilities are still at risk of experience abuse, neglect, and negligence.
Assisted living facility negligence and abuse can take form in several ways:
Occurs when there is harmful contact such as slapping, hitting, pushing or kicking. This form of abuse also includes excessive or improper use of restraints. In some cases, it may take form as the withholding of food or forcing a resident to consume food or drinks.
This type of abuse occurs when there is verbal assault, harassment, bullying, humiliating or degrading treatment of a resident. Giving a resident the silent treatment, or denying the resident of communication as a punishment is also a type of psychological abuse.
Preventing or restricting visits from family and friends or preventing contact by telephone, mail, email or other means that isolates a resident from a loved one is abuse.
Neglect is tricky to recognize. This is because it often doesn’t occur with malicious intent, but rather occurs as a result of understaffing. In other cases, it may occur as a result of staff indifference to the well-being of residents. Signs of neglect include unsanitary living quarters, dehydration, malnourishment or immobile injuries such as rashes and sores.
This type of elder abuse is often the subject of tabloid headlines or the plotlines of movies when a will is changed to exclude children in favor of a new spouse. However, taking financial advantage of a person can happen in any income threshold. Financial exploitation may occur when checks, money or property are stolen or their belongings such as vehicles are used without permission. Financial exploitation can worsen a person’s condition by leading to bills going unpaid.
These abuses may not just be carried out by staff, but also by other residents and even family members. They cause significant harm to seniors. Assisted living negligence that is allowed to persist is a violation of your loved one’s rights. Contact a qualified Assisted Living Facility Negligence Attorney to discuss your situation. You may be able to recover financial compensation.
What are the signs of assisted living facility negligence?
Often, loved ones suffering abuse in these facilities are scared to come forward with the abuse or neglect they are experiencing. They may be ashamed or fear that the offender may retaliate in some way. Because of this, family members and loved ones must know what to look for when their loved ones are in an assisted living facility. The types of signs to look out for include the following:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bruising, cuts or welts
- Frequent infections
- Mood swings
- Emotional Outbursts
- Refused to Speak
- Refused to eat
- Unexplained weight loss
- Refusal to take medications
- Poor physical appearance
- Lack of cleanliness
- Changes in mental status
- Caregivers do not want the patient left alone with others
- Noticeably strained relationships with others in the facility
- Sudden death
In the longterm care industry, negligence can often lead to serious health conditions. Neglect can open the door to several reasons to file a lawsuit, including a wrongful death lawsuit. If you spot any of the signs, you must take immediate action.
Why does assisted living facility negligence occur?
One of the biggest reasons neglect occurs in longterm care facilities is because of understaffing. As a result, some elderly residents end up being neglected. Understaffing can lead to significant oversight in a person’s care. For example, residents may not receive:
- Appropriate medication
- Scheduled meals
- Medical care
To combat understaffing, longterm care facilities may hire inexperienced staff that may not be as diligent in caring for residents.
Further, elderly citizens are entitled to living with dignity and respect. If your loved one is being treated unjustly in an assisted living facility, contact an Assisted Living Facility Attorney from The Carlson Law Firm to discuss your options.
Who is at risk for assisted living facility negligence?
Residents most at risk of being mistreated, abused, or neglected in an assisted living facility are those who don’t have visitors. The same goes for residents who require more care than their more independent counterparts.
In most cases, negligence is determined by comparing the defendant’s actions to those of an average person. In the cases of assisted living, the standard for judging a defendants conduct boils down to the following:
- Your state’s laws
- The specific action the defendant is accused of negligently performing
Assisted living facilities can be medically negligent or standard negligence. An example of medical negligence, or malpractice, is when a staff member fails to give a resident their medicine. Standard negligence may occur when a staff member leave equipment in the middle of the floor that a resident could trip and injure themselves on.
Protecting loved ones from abuse and neglect
Finding out or suspecting your loved one is being abused or neglected is your worst nightmare. No one would ever put their loved one into a facility that would lead to their suffering. The awful headlines splashed across newspapers and evening news already make many people hesitant to put their loved ones in any facility. However, there are times when you don’t have the time or know-how to care for your loved one truly.
Above, we’ve discussed the warning signs to watch out for while your loved one is in the care of an assisted living facility. But it’s also crucial that you know what to do if you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected. Seniors have a right to be from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Protect your loved one by doing the following:
- Call and visit often
- Offer to stay and help on a regular basis to ensure your loved one is receiving proper treatment
- Monitor your loved one’s medication
- Keep an eye on their finances
- Identify warning signs of abuse or neglect
If you suspect that abuse or neglect is occurring, consider the following actions to protect your loved one:
- If your loved one is in immediate danger of physical or mental abuse, contact your local police department. Elder abuse and neglect are criminal matters that fall under police jurisdiction.
- Call your state’s governing body over nursing homes or assisted living facilities to report incidences of abuse or neglect. In Texas, this is the Department of State Health Services.
- If the victim receives Medicaid, report the longterm care facility to your state’s governing authority on fraud, waste and abuse. Or you can report it to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Office of Inspector General.
- Hold the facility accountable by contacting a qualifed Assisted Living Facility Negligence Attorney.
Ultimately, the best way to protect your loved one is to speak up. In most states, if you are aware of a specific act of elder abuse, the law requires that you report it.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
Putting a loved one into a facility where they are no longer under your watch is scary enough. Finding out that abuse or negligence occurred can leave you feeling guilty about what you could have or should have done. More than half of Americans will need longterm care at some point in their lives. Ensuring these facilities are doing what they are supposed benefits society. While you can’t undo the past, you can change the future. Discussing your loved one’s situation with a qualified Carlson Law Firm Assisted Living Facility Negligence Attorney can do the following:
- It can make sure your loved one and your family get the justice you deserve.
- It makes sure what happened to your loved one doesn’t happen to anyone else.
This is the importance of filing a lawsuit against a longterm care facility. These facilities have set up a system where they are primarily held unaccountable for their negligence. Victims and their families have very little recourse once an injury occurs because of negligence. As a result, often, civil lawsuits are the only way to hold the offending facility accountable.
Our compassionate Assisted Living Facility Negligence Attorneys believe that dignity is one of the most critical components of ensuring seniors live out their lives at the highest quality. Our attorneys are unafraid to go to court to defend justice. Contact The Carlson Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.