Nursing Home Abuse

The decision to put a loved one in a nursing home is often a difficult one that requires a substantial amount of trust in their caregivers. When caregivers break that trust by neglecting, exploiting, or abusing your loved one, it’s normal to feel angry and violated. When you’re in this position, it’s up to you to advocate on behalf of your loved one, get them out of an unsafe situation, and help them get the compensation they need for what they’ve been through. Nursing home abuse is increasingly common across the country, and if your loved one or family member has been neglected in a Kentucky nursing home, you may have options.

Your Loved One’s Rights

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services notes that Kentucky nursing home residents have specific rights under federal law. If your family member is in an assisted living facility, these are just a few of the rights they are entitled to:

  • Dignified existence and communication with people inside and outside their facility
  • A full explanation of their health status
  • The freedom to refuse treatment
  • Management of their own financial affairs
  • Participate in their own care and treatment decisions
  • Access to their own records

When a facility violates a resident’s rights, it’s likely that abuse, neglect, or both are happening behind closed doors.

Types of Nursing Home Injuries

Nursing home residents are in a particularly vulnerable position. Since they are dependent on their caregivers for everything from food and medication to hygienic assistance and comfort measures, residents may be at risk of neglect, physical abuse, and mental abuse. Common types of abuse include:

  • Hitting and shoving
  • Force-feeding
  • Use of physical restraints
  • Threatening and belittling
  • Cursing at or insulting
  • Failing to meet a resident’s basic needs

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

As a loved one or family member, you are in a position to watch for signs of abuse and intervene promptly. Take the time to visit your family member regularly; while some signs of abuse are apparent during phone calls, face-to-face interaction is the best way to make sure your loved one’s needs are being met. If they exhibit any of the following signs or symptoms, you may want to investigate further to find out if they are being victimized:

  • Bedsores: These are a red flag for neglect, since they typically occur when a resident remains in one position for too long and places too much pressure on one area of the skin
  • Bruises, scrapes, and swelling
  • Injuries with no explanation or explanations that don’t make sense
  • Sudden changes in medical condition that aren’t fully explained and documented by nursing home staff
  • Fear and trepidation
  • A sudden decrease in phone calls or visit requests
  • Lethargy
  • Withdrawal from activities and social events
  • Dehydration
  • Refusal to eat
  • Sudden changes in disposition
  • Weight loss
  • Unusual behavior around specific staff members

Of course, these symptoms aren’t always signs of abuse. A resident with serious health issues may experience a natural decline in appetite, and a resident experiencing dementia may naturally exhibit anxiety, anger, and sudden changes in disposition. However, these symptoms are often red flags that warrant further investigation.

Potential Damages in a Nursing Home Abuse Case

Nursing home abuse can take a significant toll on the resident and their family members. If a nursing home’s neglect or abuse results in a resident needing additional medical treatment, the nursing home should be liable for those treatment expenses. Other damages a nursing home abuse lawyer might ask for include:

  • Relocation expenses that allow the resident to move to a new facility or into a family member’s home
  • Therapy and counseling expenses if a resident needs mental health treatment after suffering abuse
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Punitive damages—the court may award additional damages to punish the facility if a caregiver is intentional or malicious in their abuse and neglect

Protect Your Loved Ones With Dixie Law Group, PSC

Your loved one deserves the highest quality of care in their nursing home or assisted living facility. If they are victimized where they deserve to feel safe and comfortable, they deserve compensation. Call Dixie Law Group, PSC at 502-305-4654 to explore your legal options with a nursing home abuse attorney.

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We work closely with our clients and offer vigorous representation both in and out of the courtroom. If you would like to learn more about our services, please reach out to our office today.

You can contact our lawyers in Louisville at 502-806-8711 or contact us online. Initial consultations are always free.


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