Delaware Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

A nursing home is supposed to provide the medical attention and level of care that a family cannot. It is unforgivable for an elderly or disabled loved one to suffer harm through abusive or substandard care. Elderly victims often cannot report these shocking situations themselves or may be too intimidated to do so. Family members may be concerned about unexplained accidents or injuries, or sudden changes in behavior, but are unsure what to do about it. At Rhoades & Morrow, we ensure that families have the chance to meet with a nursing home abuse lawyer who can help.


Recovering Millions For Our Clients

How Often Does Nursing Home Abuse Occur?

America is filled with nursing home abuse cases. It is estimated that as many as five million nursing home abuse cases occur every day. This means that about one in 10 seniors will be abused at least once after the age of 60, but only one in 14 cases of abuse will be reported. Even more disturbing, the New York State Elder Abuse Study showed that one in 25 cases remains unreported. These troubling statistics should leave loved ones more vigilant when visiting friends or family members in nursing homes. Additionally, 24.3 percent of nursing home residents experience at least one incident of physical abuse. At the same time, 5.2 percent of seniors report some form of financial abuse.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

senior man in elderly home

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, nursing home abuse can take on many forms, such as:

  • Physical abuse: Hitting and grabbing can occur when nursing home staff are left to do as they please. These employees may claim they must work hard to lift patients in and out of bed, get them into the bath, or even that the residents were belligerent.
  • Resident to resident abuse: Many residents may be able-bodied and take advantage of other residents. This is especially common if the abuser has a history of this behavior prior to their admission.
  • Psychological abuse: Psychological abuse might include snide comments and gaslighting, as well as yelling, screaming, or scolding. Nursing home staff might treat the residents like children or blame them for their medical conditions.
  • Neglect: Neglect may simply be abandonment, lack of proper medical care, lack of personal hygiene assistance, or even isolation. Elderly residents who are immobile can easily be locked in their rooms.
  • Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse is often traumatizing for victims, and they may feel hesitant to report the abuse in fear of retaliation or not being believed.
  • Financial abuse: Seniors could be exploited financially by their relatives or nursing home staff members.

It has been shown that two out of three abuse victims are women. Be extra diligent when dealing with female family members who appear to withdraw or show the signs of abuse. Studies also show that 50 percent of abuse cases involve patients with dementia or memory problems. Patients who have been abused in the past are more likely to experience abuse in the future, as well as seniors with a low socioeconomic status.

In some cases, seniors are subjected to multiple forms of abuse. Family members who suspect that there is a problem should ask their loved ones about the abuse or contact an attorney at once. They also have the right to contact the company managing the nursing home, report the abuse, or even contact local authorities.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

nursing home residentsBy law, nursing home residents deserve quality medical treatment and attentive personal care. Many privately-owned care centers may not be adequately staffed or managed to deliver the mandated level of care.

Those facilities are accountable for monetary damages for wrongful death, preventable harm, and needless suffering, such as:

  • Bedsores from laying in a single position for long periods
  • Dehydration and malnourishment
  • Falling accidents from lack of assistance or safety measures
  • Injuries from elopement
  • Marks and bruises from physical or sexual abuse
  • Undiagnosed illnesses or medication errors

Other forms of elder abuse can still occur inside a nursing home, and family members should be aware of situations witnessed or patients who seem to be isolated. Do not be paranoid when entering a nursing home but be concerned if anything is untoward.

Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Families

careOver the years, we have assembled a network of medical and nursing care experts who can review your records and testify about the negligence or abuse that occurred. Our legal team will investigate similar incidents, the background of medical and non-medical personnel, and other indications of substandard care. These cases are often settled by arbitration under the provisions of the nursing home contract. Our role is to hold the facility accountable and ensure compensation for medical intervention, pain and suffering, and lasting harm. By holding the facility accountable, we can stop the abuse, prevent future abuse, and ensure that your elderly loved ones are safe.

If you are filing a claim for damages for nursing home abuse, that is a civil case that we will help you navigate. Our investigation may lead to a criminal case managed by the local authorities. A wrongful death claim can also be filed if the abuse killed a loved one. We ask that you allow us to assist you during this difficult time if you are questioned by law enforcement. We also cooperate with law enforcement when necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nursing home abuse is just one form of elder abuse recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Elder abuse inside nursing homes can occur at any time, and family members must be aware of several forms, such as financial abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse. Nursing home abuse may occur because nursing homes are private institutions that are often hidden from public view. Nursing home abuse may also thrive on the fact that many seniors do not have visitors. If a senior does not have a family to look out for them, they could be abused repeatedly in secret. At the same time, elder abuse could occur because of a herd mentality, where multiple staff members participate in the abuse because they believe it is acceptable.

When a family member notices signs of nursing home abuse, contact one of our nursing home abuse lawyers for help reporting the complaint or filing a claim for damages. We will investigate the case and look into anything that may have occurred.

In most cases, nursing homes could be guilty of:

  • Negligent hiring
  • Understaffing
  • Inadequate training
  • Breach of statutory or regulatory obligations
  • Medication errors

Many of these problems are often interconnected. Do not attempt to investigate these cases on your own, and do not continually complain to the nursing home. Systemic abuse or mismanagement may have caused these problems, and our lawyers will look into what occurred.

Families that wish to enroll their elderly loved ones in a nursing home should help prevent elder abuse as much as possible.

The following tips will help to protect loved ones:

  • Make sure elderly loved ones have a living will. Elders should not sign over a power of attorney to anyone at the facility. Work this out with elderly loved ones before they enroll. If there is a copy of the living will, family members can prevent abuse or exploitation.
  • Ensure that elderly loved ones have an active social life. Invite them to church on Sundays, have someone in the family visit almost every day of the week, and pick them up for frequent family gatherings. If family members are consistently present, loved ones are less likely to be abused.
  • Help elderly loved ones reach out to you. If elders have accessible ways to reach family members, they can communicate any issues that arise, or family members will be able to sense if something is wrong and tend to the issue.

Preparation before enrolling elderly loved ones in nursing homes will prevent a host of problems. Contact one of our nursing home abuse lawyers for assistance if a loved one was abused inside a nursing home.

Delaware Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Victims of Nursing Home Abuse

Reach out to our Delaware nursing home abuse lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow if you believe that a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse. We will review your case and determine the negligent party liable for the abuse. Call us at (302) 427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients and their families throughout the state, including Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

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