As most Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers know, the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (NHRA) sets federal standards for nursing homes across the United States. Nursing homes are required to follow these standards if they receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. The act establishes minimum care standards for caregivers in a nursing home and the legal rights of elderly adults living in a nursing home to protect the safety and health of elderly adult residents.
The NHRA requires that nursing homes provide dietary, pharmaceutical, social, nursing, and rehabilitation services to residents. Periodic assessments of residents, having care plans for each elder, and the presence of a full-time social worker if the home has more than 120 beds are all also required by the act. The NHRA recognizes that elderly adults who are receiving living assistance have certain basic rights that must be respected by all nursing home employees.
Your Indiana nursing home abuse attorney from Camden & Meridew P.C. realizes that not all nursing homes follow these guidelines. There are many situations in which individual caregivers and/or the nursing home engage in acts that are neglectful, abusive, and can even lead to wrongful death. When that happens, we help the nursing home residents and their families fight to enforce their rights and for compensation for violations.
Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Identify Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Elder abuse is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as conduct—by intentional action or a failure to act—by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving a position of trust that causes or creates the possibility of harm to an older adult over age 60. A caregiver may be an employee of a nursing home or a loved one that has taken on the responsibility of caring for an elderly adult.
Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Explain Types of Elder Abuse
Caregiver offenses can include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse or exploitation, and wrongful death. If you or your loved one have any of the following nursing home abuse claims, an Indiana nursing home abuse attorney from Camden & Meridew can help you and your loved ones who pursue claims for abuse and/or neglect.
Physical abuse is defined as the deliberate use of physical force resulting one of these types of harm:
- Acute illness;
- Chronic illness;
- Physical pain;
- Functional impairment;
- Bodily injury; or
Examples of physical abuse include scratching, choking, suffocating, biting, beating, hitting, striking with or without an object, burning, shaking, pushing, shoving, or slapping an individual.
Sexual Abuse or Abusive Sexual Contact
Sexual abuse is any sexual interaction with an older adult that is forced or unwanted. Elderly adults who are not in a coherent mental state cannot give an informed approval or consent to sexual actions. A caregiver who is mistreating an elderly adult in this way is committing sexual assault. Conduct that Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers have dealt with that constitutes elder sexual abuse includes intentional touching (whether directly or through clothing) of the breast, groin, genitalia, anus, buttocks, or inner thigh.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
Nursing home elder abuse is not always physical abuse. A caregiver may also be found liable for emotional or psychological abuse. This type of abuse arises from verbal or nonverbal behavior that results in the infliction of distress, mental pain, fear, or anguish. Name-calling or insults to humiliate the elderly, making threatening statements (such as being placed in a nursing home), isolating the individual from family or friends, or exerting excessive control over the person or his or her access to money, a phone, or transportation.
Financial Abuse or Exploitation
Loved ones of elderly adults frequently handle an elder’s finances, but financial abuse can also be a resulting problem. Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers can help you identify whether financial abuse or exploitation has occurred.
The CDC defines financial abuse or exploitation as the unauthorized or illegal use of an older individual’s resources by a caregiver or other person in a trusting relationship for the benefit of someone other than the older individual. This includes depriving the individual of rightful access to information about or use of personal benefits, resources, belongings, or assets. Examples include the improper use of guardianship or use of coercion of deception to surrender finances or property.
Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers and Wrongful Death Claims
Nursing home abuse that results in a wrongful death claim are some of the most tragic cases that nursing home abuse lawyers see. The wrongful death of an elderly resident of a nursing home occurs when the resident dies due to the negligence of caregivers. In other words, a wrongful death claim can arise when a nursing home’s failure to act or negligent actions result in the death of a resident.
Conduct constituting neglect and/or abuse that leads to wrongful death is so often avoidable through proper patient management and care. Following are some examples of incidents that can lead to wrongful death:
- Abuse of or injury to a resident by a nursing home employee;
- Failure to break up violence in the nursing home;
- Incorrect distribution of medication in the nursing home; and
- Neglects of a resident’s health care needs.
When patient dies as a result of these types of abuse or neglect, the nursing home may be liable for the wrongful death. An Indiana nursing home attorney from Camden & Meridew, P.C. is available to help pursue all appropriate claims arising from the loss of a loved one due to the negligence or intentional abuse of a nursing home or its employees.
When to Consult with Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
There are many different types of nursing home abuse and neglect. To find yourself in a situation where a loved one has been taken advantage of, abused, neglected, and possibly worse is devastating. If you think you or a loved one has suffered any of the described types of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers at Camden & Meridew, P.C. by calling 317-770-0000 or complete the firm’s online contact form. We will work with you to report the incidents to the Indiana Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-992-6978 and file a claim for recovery for injuries or death caused by such abuse.