Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Detroit, Michigan
None of us can escape the aging process, and there will come a time when we all will need extra help. In many cases, families come together to care for their aging relatives, but they often don’t have the means or ability to provide care full time and must rely on nursing homes.
Many nursing homes are safe and welcoming places where seniors can enjoy a high quality of life and care. However, in others, you may find troubling issues with abuse and neglect. And, when your loved one is in one of these facilities, you need to know what to do to ensure their safety and to hold the guilty parties accountable.
At Ratton Law Group PC, we’ve been helping families in and around the Detroit, Michigan, area address these problems by providing experienced legal counsel to ensure their loved ones are cared for. Call us today to schedule a consultation.
Laws Protecting Freedom from Abuse and Neglect
In addition to federal laws, Michigan has put forth 15 of its own state laws to protect nursing home residents from elder abuse. For the past ten years, the state has been working to fill holes in legislation to make it easier to report abuse or neglect and to put protocols into place to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place.
Two entities that are involved in protecting vulnerable adults from abuse are Michigan’s Adult Protective Services and the Elder Abuse Task Force. Anyone with a “reasonable suspicion” that abuse or neglect is occurring should report it within two hours of observing it, and they should not wait any longer than 24 hours. Reports can be filed by nursing home staff or families of those who are residents.
When you admit an elderly family member to a nursing home or care facility, you do so with the understanding that their physical and emotional health will be the topmost priority. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and even though recent laws have improved conditions, there are still too many instances of abuse and neglect.
Abuse refers to any time the health and welfare of a nursing home resident are threatened. This could include actual physical assault or battery, such as a staff member hitting or striking a resident, using unauthorized physical or chemical restraints, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse. Per state law, anyone who suspects such abuse should report it within two hours of their observations. This is a very short time frame, but it’s intended to address these startling concerns immediately so that further abuse can be stopped.
Neglect occurs when residents don’t get the required care they need, which includes basic quality of life requirements such as food, water, clothing, shelter, and medical care. These issues are commonly found when there is insufficient staff to cover the needs of the residents, contributing to inadequate supervision. This can lead to complications due to falls, bedsores, dehydration, or medication negligence. When facilities are understaffed, they may be unable to provide medical assistance in a timely manner and will be less equipped to keep the residence safe and free of hazards.
Nursing Home Accidents
If you suspect a nursing home accident has occurred involving your family member, you should report it immediately and follow up with the facility and your loved one after your report. Oftentimes, elderly residents may not be aware that such abuse and neglect is occurring or may not be able to communicate it adequately.
The best thing you can do is be constantly on the lookout for concerning situations or injuries. Some common signs of nursing home accidents are bedsores or pressure ulcers that occur especially in wheelchair-bound patients, bruising or broken bones, infections, malnutrition, and dehydration.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Serving Detroit, Michigan
If you suspect your loved one isn’t getting the care they need in a nursing home, contact a personal injury attorney right away who can help you understand your options for addressing your concerns and ensuring a safe and happy living environment. If you’re in or around Detroit, Michigan, reach out to us at Ratton Law Group PC today.