The abuse and neglect of older adults and vulnerable individuals in nursing homes is a growing concern for many families whose loved ones require medical care at these facilities. While some types of abuse may be evident to outsiders, Maryland nursing home abuse and neglect goes undiscovered in many situations. In these cases, the victims may suffer long-term abuse resulting in serious consequences such as death.
Maryland has certain mandatory reporting laws in place that require medical providers, police officers, and human service workers to report suspected cases of elder abuse. In cases where the reporter is a staff member of a hospital or public health facility, they must report the situation to the organization’s head. Although the law requires mandatory reporting, others who suspect abuse should also report their concerns. Despite the laws, many people fail to report abuse for fear of retaliation or retribution.
In addition to physical abuse, older adults and vulnerable individuals are more likely to face exploitation and neglect in these facilities. Further, older adults who reside in these institutions may turn to self-neglect and self-harm after experiencing this type of abuse. Staff and family members should look for signs of abuse when interacting with nursing home residents, especially on residents who cannot communicate effectively.
Abuse takes many different forms, and it is important that individuals are vigilant in picking up any signs of abuse. For instance, some common signs of:
- Physical abuse, including multiple injuries, bruises, welts and cuts, burns, unusual lab report findings
- Physical neglect, including dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores, missing medical devices and supports
- Psychological abuse, including silent treatment of the resident, threatening or insulting the resident, and a resident acting withdrawn or depressed
- Financial Exploitation, including significant withdrawals from the resident’s bank account, frequent gifts to the caretaker, missing personal belongings
However, even with significant amounts of evidence, these cases can be hard to pursue. The inherent nature of the abuse in conjunction with the victim’s physical and psychological state may prove to be challenging. For instance, a recent news source explained that authorities are declining to press charges against a nursing home following the death of a 96-year-old resident and potential abuse and neglect of two others. According to the district attorney’s office, they could not establish the evidence required to pursue criminal charges against the facility.
Has Your Loved One Suffered Abuse or Neglect at a Nursing Home?
If you suspect that a loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse in a Maryland nursing home or assisted living facility contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen. Our office’s personal injury and wrongful death attorneys have extensive experience representing Maryland victims and their families. Our office also handles claims stemming from accidents involving premises liability, products liability, motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, and other types of personal injury claims. Our tenacious attorneys dedicate their practice to helping victims recover the compensation they deserve after abuse or injury. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.