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Nursing Home Negligence

Billings Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys

Advocating Tirelessly for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

When a loved one is under the care of a nursing home or long-term care facility, we trust that the doctors and staff will provide our loved ones with the level of care and respect they deserve. And, in fact, nursing homes and other similar facilities have a legal responsibility to properly care for their residents. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

Though we don’t like to think about it, as it is one of the most horrifying things to imagine, elder abuse and neglect happens all the time in nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout the United States. It’s a devastating fact, and one that victims and their families do not have to simply accept. If you or your elderly loved one was the victim of nursing home negligence, you can file a personal injury (or wrongful death) claim and seek justice and fair compensation.

Our Billings nursing home abuse attorneys can help. We understand just how devastating it is to learn that your elderly loved one was treated improperly or even abused at the hands of trusted caretakers. Our team works quickly to gather information and investigate your claim in order to build a swift, powerful case in support of your claims.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect takes many forms; it can be physical, sexual, emotional, or even financial in nature. Unfortunately, many elderly victims are unable or unwilling to speak up for themselves. In some cases, due to illness or other reasons, they may not even be aware that abuse or neglect are occurring. Because of this, it is extremely important that you are able to recognize signs that something is not right so that you can report and put an end to the abuse/neglect immediately.

Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:

  • Unexplained injuries, including bruises, cuts, and scrapes
  • Bedsores/pressure ulcers
  • Falls and related injuries, like broken bones
  • Untreated infections and illnesses
  • Malnutrition/dehydration
  • Soiled or dirty clothing or bedsheets
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior
  • Sudden, unexplained anger or irritability
  • Medication errors, including overdose
  • Signs of physical or chemical restraint
  • Sexual injuries/injuries to genitals or female breasts
  • Wandering
  • Elopement
  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Bounced checks/overdrawn accounts
  • Changes to a will, trust, power of attorney, healthcare directive, etc.

If you notice these or other signs that something is “off,” it is always best to err on the side of caution. Report suspected abuse to the nursing home administrator or to your loved one’s doctor. If you believe your loved one is in immediate and imminent danger, contact 9-1-1 and consider removing your loved one from the home.

How to Pick a Safe, Trustworthy Nursing Home

Making the decision to place an elderly loved one into a nursing home or care facility is not easy. Knowing that your loved one could be at risk of elder abuse or neglect certainly does not make the process any easier. But it’s important to remember that many nursing homes and similar facilities throughout the U.S. provide wonderful care to their residents.

When choosing a nursing home, it’s important to read reviews and visit the home yourself. Always see the home in person, if possible, as this is one of the best ways to get an idea of what type of facility it is and what level of care they provide.

When visiting a home, look at the following things:

  • The staff-to-resident ratio (there should be plenty of staff members to meet the residents’ needs)
  • The general cleanliness of the facility and whether it seems well maintained
  • The attitude and demeanor of the residents, whether residents appear to be out and about or confined to their rooms
  • Whether there are any planned activities for residents
  • How many doctors, nurses, and nurse assistants are on staff
  • Whether the home has practices in place for residents with special needs or certain conditions (such as dementia)
  • The home’s safety plan regarding the spread of disease/infection (like COVID-19) and preventing injuries

Do not be afraid to ask staff any and all questions you have. Take note of how they respond—do they seem willing to answer your questions or are they evasive? Are they happy to show you around, or is the tour limited? Has the home ever been reported? All of these and other factors are important in selecting the right nursing home or long-term care facility.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Loved One Is the Victim of Elder Abuse

Of course, it isn’t always possible to predict when a home will fail to provide adequate and proper care. If you suspect your elderly loved one may be the victim of abuse or neglect, contact the proper authorities right away and report the abuse. If necessary, you may want to move your loved one from the home in order to protect their safety and well-being.

Next, contact an experienced nursing home negligence lawyer in Billings. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and determine if you have grounds to bring a claim. While nothing can undo the trauma that you and/or your loved one has been through, a claim can provide a sense of justice and compensate you for medical bills and other damages.

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