When a nursing home facility says that they offer the “gold standard” of care, you expect them to treat your loved one like you would. You expect them to treat the elderly like family. It’s hard to accept that you can’t always be there to help an aging family member, so you do your research. Terms like “serene healing environment” and “gracious living” come up, with pictures of smiling individuals. It looks picture-perfect, but how do you know that your loved one will receive the skilled care they need at this time in their life? Nursing homes like Astoria Place may boast that they offer round-the-clock care in a compassionate environment, but you need more than words and promises. Alarming statistics, like those from the World Health Organization, find that two in three staff members at long-term care facilities like Astoria Place admitted to committing some form of elder abuse.
At Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, we know you can’t always rely on the word of a staff member or a fancy website to ensure that your family member is being treated with dignity and respect. What you can trust is that our attorneys will work hard to thoroughly investigate claims of nursing home abuse and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
If you are beginning to suspect that something may be wrong with a loved one and they may be the victim of abuse, call us at 312-346-8620 for a consultation. You need the legal advice our experienced team of nursing home abuse attorneys can give you.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can be defined as someone with power or authority over an elderly person intentionally causing them harm or putting them in jeopardy. In many cases involving nursing homes, the person with power over the elderly is a caregiver or staff member. While we think of harm mainly in terms of physical injury, that isn’t always the case in a long-term care facility like Astoria Place. Yes, physical abuse happens, but other forms of abuse take place, as well, including sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, and financial abuse. Neglect, or the lack of action, is also considered a form of abuse.
Notice frequent illnesses or unexplained injuries. Changes in mood or behavior, dehydration, malnutrition, poor hygiene, depression, or other changes in your loved one, may be signs that something is wrong.
What Can Cause Nursing Home Abuse?
When we entrust our loved one’s care to a skilled nursing home facility, we are operating under the belief that, as a medical facility, they are doing their due diligence. That means they hire the right people, do proper background screenings, and put health and safety above profit.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. There are a variety of reasons that nursing home abuse takes place. We may never be able to wrap our minds around why someone would want to hurt the most vulnerable in our community purposely. However, understanding the circumstances that may lead to abusive situations can help you better watch for the signs of abuse.
Here are some of the more common situations that can lead to abuse:
Nursing Home Understaffing
One of the significant issues that lead to cases of abuse is frequent or chronic understaffing of a facility. This means there are not enough caregivers to provide for the number of residents at the facility adequately. Understaffing can lead to burnout and stress for caregivers. The result may be physically or emotionally lashing out at residents or neglecting their needs because they don’t have the time to attend to every resident.
Inadequate or improper training procedures can mean that staff members are not properly equipped to deal with residents or their needs. They may abuse residents or neglect basic medical needs because they don’t know what to look for. Staff members who don’t have adequate training may give a resident the wrong medication or not document necessary information in their chart, leading to mistakes down the road.
Poor Hiring Practices
Nursing home facilities have a duty to hire qualified professionals to fill their job openings. That means they must have the proper medical and educational background for the position they apply for. If a nursing home is lax on background checks or other important hiring practices, it means they may put someone in charge of your loved one with a criminal background or does not have the proper medical credentials.
Lack of Supervision
A nursing home is also in charge of implementing safeguards to protect its residents and staff members. That means making sure there is ample supervision and help available for caregivers.
Poor Oversight or Corporate Management
It is simply a fact that many nursing homes are considered for-profit businesses. When a business structure values money and profit over health and safety, the result can lead to abuse. Not devoting time and resources to a facility in favor of increased profit margins for the quarter can have disastrous consequences for elderly residents dependent on those resources for their care. Astoria Place is a for-profit nursing home and some reviews have suggested there may be problems with facility maintenance and quality of care.
Can Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Help My Family If We Have a Problem with Astoria Place?
We understand you put your trust in a facility like Asoria Place, and they let you and your family down. It may be hard to put your trust and faith in anyone else right now, but for the sake of your family, let us win back your trust.
At Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, we know how important it is to fight for the rights of the elderly in our community. We have the ability and the skill to investigate your concerns and get to the bottom of what is happening to your loved one. If you suspect abuse, don’t wait to share your fears with us. The longer you wait, hoping for more “concrete evidence,” your family member suffers more.