Chattanooga Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

The decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home is one of the hardest and most complicated decisions a person can make. You want to make sure that your loved one is provided with the proper medical care as well as emotional support, but, as nursing home abuse and neglect has been growing as a national public health concern, finding a quality nursing home has become more difficult. Often, the caregivers at nursing homes do their best, but these facilities simply do not have enough staff members to provide adequate care. The failure to provide enough staffing to take care of the patients is typically the result of companies maximizing profits at the expense of patient care. Therefore if your loved one has suffered due to neglect or abuse in a nursing home, consult with a Chattanooga nursing home neglect attorney to hold them responsible and file a personal injury claim.

Elder Abuse and Neglect Statistics

Understaffing, inadequate background checks, poor training and insufficient or careless administrative oversight are the leading underlying causes behind elder abuse and neglect. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), more than 1 in 10 elders may suffer abuse or neglect, but only 1 in 5, or fewer, cases are reported. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than 500,000 adults, over the age of 60, are abused, neglected or financially exploited every year. Unfortunately, because relatively few instances of abuse and neglect are reported, these numbers are likely an underestimation of the truth.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Bed sores are a common warning sign that an elderly individual is being neglected. The NCEA defines elder neglect as “[a] caregiver’s failure or refusal to provide for a vulnerable elder’s safety, physical, or emotional needs.” If you have a loved one in a nursing home or are currently searching for one, knowing the signs that point to neglect, such as bed sores, can help you protect your loved one from harm. Oftentimes, elders are dependent on the people who are abusing or neglecting them and are afraid to complain about or report it for fear of retaliation. This is why it is especially important for others to know what to look for and contact a Chattanooga nursing home neglect attorney should they notice any of the common signs. The common signs that would indicate neglect, as identified by the NCEA and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) include:

  • Bed sores
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Dirty or torn clothes
  • Listlessness and fatigue
  • Constant hunger/begging for food
  • Lack of medical or dental care
  • Left unattended for long periods of time
  • Complaints/reports of neglect

Finding the Right Nursing Home

Before choosing a nursing home, make sure you research and visit multiple facilities. Don’t just take the “official” tour. Get to know and speak with the residents. They are the ones that know what living there and being cared for there is really like. Also, make sure to look for warning signs of abuse and/or neglect. These signs may be a little different for you if you are at the facility as a prospective customer. If you notice any of the following, the nursing home is not adequate and may even need to be reported:

  • Most residents seem listless, fatigued, or depressed
  • Immobile residents are left alone in wheelchairs
  • Residents are dressed in dirty or ragged clothes
  • Rooms are dirty or messy
  • Facility is in poor repair
  • Staff is socializing instead of helping residents
  • Linens are dirty
  • There are few nursing/medical personnel

Hiring a Chattanooga Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

There is no excuse for a residential or long-term elder care facility to neglect the needs of their residents or subject them to unprofessional and/or malicious conduct. Nursing home administrators have a duty to be aware of what is happening in their facility. If they do not, the caregiver responsible for abusing or neglecting an elder, as well as themselves, may be held liable for the injuries and emotional distress caused. The compassionate Chattanooga nursing home neglect lawyers at Massey & Associates, P.C., believe that our elders deserve the utmost respect and care. We are committed to holding at-fault parties responsible for the pain and suffering they have caused. If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect in Tennessee, we may be able to help.