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One of the hardest decisions any adult must make is the decision to put their elderly mother, father, or other elderly loved one into a nursing home, but when this is the only option, you place a huge amount of trust in the nursing home that will be providing care to your loved one. You hope your loved one will be properly cared for, but this is not always the case.
It is important to remember that nursing homes are businesses, and they may try to cut costs if the law allows. Some nursing homes do not hire enough staff members to meet the demands of their patients in order to save money, and others refuse to make renovations or updates to their old buildings.
If your elderly loved has suffered from medical malpractice, abuse, or neglect while staying in a Kansas City nursing home, call the Popham Law Firm right away. We want to see that all of our patients are properly cared for, and our defense and personal injury lawyers will take a stand against the nursing staff that harmed your loved one.
Recognizing Elder Abuse or Neglect
On the outside, a nursing home may seem well kept and the staff may be friendly, but abuse can still take place even in the nicest settings. If you witness any of the following abuses or signs of neglect, then you may need to seek legal counsel on behalf of your loved one.
- Malnutrition or dehydration: Your loved one should receive three meals per day and plenty of water.
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers: Usually caused by neglect, patient not being moved from a bed.
- Falls and injury-related falls: An elder’s movement should be monitored at all times. If not, falls and related injuries are likely to occur.
- Medication mistakes: Nurses and doctors must not mix up patient prescriptions, doing so can lead to an overdoses.
- Assault: Includes physical, mental, psychological/emotional, and sexual assault. Elderly patients are often more vulnerable to these attacks because they are not able to fight back. A lack of security or qualified staff may lead to any one of these types of assaults.
- Financial exploitation: Staff members use the patient’s money without any sort of authorization.
- Wandering: Patients without proper supervision may wander, which can lead to serious injuries or even death.
If you witness any sign of neglect or are told about it from a third party, then you do have the right to act. Do not wait until the abuse happens again or until your loved one obtains even more injuries and abuse. Contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney who has experience in nursing home neglect. Our attorneys at Popham Law will fight using the full extent of Missouri and federal laws to give your elderly loved ones the justice he or she deserves.
Neglect or Abuse
When an elderly patient is the victim of neglect or abuse, you will usually be able to signs of it clearly. Bedsores are one of the most common signs of abuse as they usually indicate that an elderly patient has not been taken out of his or her bed in a very long time. Neglect can also be indicated by a dramatic loss of weight, meaning a patient is not eating properly.
Abuse can be classified as physical, mental, emotional, or sexual. In some cases, you may see very obvious bruises or scars in strange places, but in other cases, you may not see any evidence at all. That is why it is so important that you check in regularly with your loved one to ensure that he or she is being properly cared for.
Of course, even the most cautious and caring nursing homes may see a patient fall from time to time, and patients can develop bedsores in other ways not caused by neglect. Still, if you do suspect abuse, do not be afraid to voice your concern. For cases of abuse and neglect in nursing homes, the statute of limitations is five years (Mo. Ann. Stat. §516.120), which means you have five years to file your claim. Speak with an attorney and put your worries at ease.
When an elderly patient is given a medication, you naturally trust the doctors and nurses to administer not only the right prescription but also the right amount of the prescription. A patient who receives too much of a drug or the wrong one can overdose or have a severe reaction.
To file a medical malpractice claim against a nursing home in Missouri, you must file within two years of the discovery of the injury or when it reasonably should have been discovered (Mo. Ann. Stat. §516.105). If a foreign object left within a patient during surgery, then you may file within two years of its discovery.
In the case that a disabled child living in the nursing home is the victim of medical malpractice, the child has until his or her 12th birthday to file a medical malpractice claim against the nursing home. Most parents will file on behalf of their children.
When abuse, neglect or medical malpractice lead to death, family members of the deceased may sue for wrongful death. In Missouri, you have a statute of limitations of three years in which to file your case (Mo. Ann. Stat. §537.100).
No one wants nursing home abuse to come this far. Speak to an attorney when you suspect your loved one is being abuse, neglected or is the victim of medical malpractice. Together we can help bring the nursing home to justice and get your elderly loved on the compensation he or she deserves.