Elder Law lawyer Danbury, CT
If you believe your elderly loved one in a nursing home is being abused, you should speak with an elder law lawyer Danbury, CT residents trust from Sweeney Legal. Placing your elderly loved ones into the hands of other people can take a lot of trust. However, one of the most common signs of nursing home abuse is bedsores. Some people may brush it off as a sign of old age or maybe a staff member forgot to tend to them overnight. This is not the case, however. Bedsores do not develop overnight and they are a result of continued neglect. They are also not a symptom of old age, but a sign that the staff at the nursing home has continually avoided turning your loved one or getting them out of bed. To see how a Danbury, CT elder law lawyer can help you, call us now.
Which injuries are obvious?
Nursing home abuse can take on many forms, but the most common tend to be bed sores, falls that cause fractures, malnutrition, dehydration, wrongful death, sexual abuse, and financial exploitation. As an elder law lawyer Danbury, CT seniors trust from Sweeney Legal knows, nursing home abuse can be obvious, or less so, depending on the nature and severity of it. It is always worth keeping an eye on a loved one who resides in a nursing home, just in case signs of abuse arise. It’s better to take preventative measures and be informed now, than to wish you had noticed the signs and taken action sooner.
Who can help my loved one?
Realizing that your senior loved one may be mistreated in a nursing home is not an easy reality to accept, especially if you were the person who placed them there. But it can be difficult to know whether incidents of abuse will happen, since it is often covered up or hidden by staff and the facility. Despite all the research you may have done, there’s no way to completely eliminate all chances of nursing home abuse. However, if you do see signs, then it is imperative that you get help for your loved one immediately. Do not delay, as more incidents can continue to unfold, and those of elderly age are more susceptible to succumbing to their injuries, so early intervention is key. Reach out to a Danbury elder law lawyer from our law firm now for help.
Can I sue the nursing home?
Even if you do not care about getting restitution for the abuse, you do have the right to do so. Money damages are a remedy provided by the civil justice system. And unfortunately, many nursing home facilities are owned by larger corporate entities and are only focused on the money they make, and not the wellbeing of your loved one. You may be tempted to write a letter or a negative public review, but this won’t do much in inflicting loss on the company itself, that is, unless you pursue compensation for how your senior relative had suffered while under their care.
But what if I’m unsure what happened?
Our Danbury lawyer elder law team knows that some people just aren’t sure if nursing home abuse is happening. After all, efforts are probably being made to eliminate the signs of it, and your loved one may be too scared to tell you about it out of fear of worsened treatment. But that is where our legal team can step in, as we know how to investigate in such a way that it will cause minimal risk for your relative while potentially uncovering evidence to use against the nursing home facility. If you just want to know whether there could be something happening that you should take action for, then we can help answer that question for you. Either way, you will know for sure and can either get the relief you are hoping for, or know that is time to remove your loved one and get them somewhere safe.
What causes bedsores?
We most often see bedsores in elderly patients at nursing homes because these residents are the most immobile. A bedsore is severe tissue damage in certain areas of a person’s body. The cause of these bedsores is from pressure on one area of the body. This pressure must be sustained over a long period of time, however, and does not come about as a result of staying in one position for one or two nights. It is common to see loved ones with bedsores on:
- The tailbone
- The hips
- The buttocks
- The foot
- The heel
While some of these may be the result of being immobile and remaining in their beds, an elder law lawyer Danbury Connecticut residents trust knows that bedsores can be seen on the feet if a staff member does not remove a resident’s footwear often enough.
Are bedsores serious?
Yes, and they can worsen quickly.
Who is most at risk?
Residents in nursing homes that suffer from other problems are likely to be at risk of getting bedsores and having them worsen quickly.
- If the patient suffers from memory problems, they may not know to report their injuries or may forget to track how bad their injuries are.
- If the patient has incontinence problems, they may accidentally contaminate their bedsores and infect them.
- If the patient also suffers from obesity or malnutrition, they are at a greater risk for developing bedsores.
What should you do?
Trusting your loved one to the health care professionals in a nursing home can be a difficult thing to do. You only want what’s best for your family member, and sometimes this type of outside care is what they will benefit from most. That doesn’t make it any easier, especially when you hear stories in the news about nursing home abuse. What should you do if you suspect neglect or abuse of your loved one?
Know What to Look For
There are some signs you should be aware of so you can make a determination of whether abuse or neglect is happening. Some warning signs include:
- Unexplained bruising, including near the genitals
- Changes in behavior or mental state
- Bleeding or other unexplained injuries
- Change in power of attorney or financial situation
- Frequent, unexplained infections
- Bedsores or missed medications
Report the Abuse
If your loved one is being abused and there are obvious signs, it’s the legal responsibility of the doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals to report it. If your doctor hasn’t been made aware of the situation, contact him or her first to get help in confirming your suspicions. The doctor can look over your loved one’s medical charts, do a little asking around and give you more information to make your case.
After you have spoken with the doctor, contact the police to report neglect or abuse. If you witness the abuse firsthand, it’s appropriate to call 9-1-1 for help. In either case, the police will conduct an investigation to determine if your loved one truly is being abused or neglected. After, speak with an elder law lawyer in Danbury, Connecticut.
Move Your Loved One
When someone is being abused in a particular setting, he or she should be taken out of that setting. Look into some other nursing homes to find a safer place for your loved one to stay. If you are able to take care of your family member, it’s possible you could open up a bedroom in your home and hire the professionals needed to come in and provide care there.
Contact a Lawyer
After reporting the abuse and moving your loved one to a safer location, you should contact an attorney. Nursing home lawyers can help to collect evidence against the nursing home or individual who abused your loved one. The elder law lawyer in Danbury can also help you move ahead with a lawsuit against the responsible party.
The Danbury, CT elder law lawyer from Sweeney Legal knows that bedsores that are left untreated can become significantly worse. They may develop into a bone infection, sepsis, or gangrene. Not only could this place your loved one in more pain, but it could result in death.
If you believe your elderly loved one is suffering from bedsores or other forms of abuse, know that this kind of neglect is not okay. Your loved one deserves to be compensated for the pain they have been put through. For more information on how we can help your loved one with a personal injury claim for their bedsores, speak with an elder law lawyer in Danbury, Connecticut from Legal Sweeney.
Estate Litigation and Elder Abuse
Devastatingly, elder abuse is a more prevalent problem than many people realize. As someone gets older, they may have to depend on others for food, grooming, housing, and other necessities of life. If an elderly person doesn’t have someone looking out for their best interests at all times, they may become vulnerable to being taken advantage of by ill-intentioned people.
It isn’t uncommon for family members of a recently deceased elderly loved one to be shocked by what has changed within their loved one’s last will and testament. This may lead family members to consult with an experienced Danbury, Connecticut elder law lawyer about filing estate litigation due to suspicion of elder abuse and/or coercion during the final chapters of their loved one’s life. If you suspect that your loved one revised their will as a result of abuse or coercion, please contact the firm of Sweeney Legal, LLC. Our Danbury, CT elder law lawyer team can answer your questions and advise you of your legal options so that you can make an informed decision about your situation.
Who May Take Advantage
Sadly, there are times when someone who you thought was close to your loved one actually had ulterior motives. You could come to suspect that people who took care of your elderly loved one in a nursing home or other type of care facility were coercing your loved one. Or you could suspect a friend or even a relative of behaving inappropriately towards your deceased loved one. People who seek to take advantage of the elderly usually do so once a person has become vulnerable in some way and thus more easily influenced by those who don’t have their best at heart. You may not know for sure whether someone has taken advantage of your loved one and that’s okay. Speaking with a Danbury, CT elder law lawyer doesn’t commit you to taking action – it simply ensures that you get your questions answered so that you can evaluate your options.
If you observed any of the following signs in your elderly loved one, then someone may have been abusing and mistreating them:
- Peculiar changes in behavior, such as emotional outbursts or feeling scared
- An unkempt appearance
- Odd cuts, broken bones, or bruises that cannot be explained
- Missing hearing aids, dentures, or eyeglasses
- Bank activity that could not have been from the elderly person
- A new “friend” or stranger who has suddenly taken over your elderly loved one’s finances
How Elder Abuse Relates to Estate Planning
When someone writes up documents within an estate plan, some of the most crucial items include a will, living will, and trust. What can happen is this person who aims to take advantage will try to get the elderly person to change provisions in a will or trust so that they can personally benefit. For example, the delinquent may coerce the elderly person into changing beneficiaries, so they can receive a portion of the estate, such as money and/or property.
Loved ones may file a petition to the court regarding the validity of the trust, thus leading to estate litigation. If you suspect that your loved one suffered from elder abuse and changes written in the estate plan don’t accurately reflect their wishes, then you may have a strong case to challenge the documents. If this situation sounds like something you and your family are going through, don’t hesitate to contact a Danbury, CT elder law lawyer for assistance.
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