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Content for Attorney Websites

Sometimes you need technical content broken down into easily digestible material that does two things: a) explains the problem and b) drums up business.

Attorneys often have this need for their websites to educate the public about claims they may have. Here is an example for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect:

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Sources on nursing home abuse and neglect can report unnervingly high statistics on elder abuse indicating that 1 in 10 elderly individuals will experience an incidence of abuse, or that over 2 million cases of abuse and neglect are reported on an annual basis. (http://www.nursinghomeabuseguide.org/nursing-home-abuse-statistics/). Reports of these cases have the potential to rise due to the overwhelming number of Americans that will become eligible for nursing home care in the coming years. The CDC reports that the coming boom in those over 85 have the highest rates of disability and need for caregivers and long-term services (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_03/sr03_038.pdf).

These older Americans are your parents, friends, and neighbors. If you or someone you know has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact legal help today. As nursing homes become overwhelmed with individuals to care for it is important that older Americans receive the level of attention and respect they deserve in their most vulnerable of times. An attorney will ensure you, or your loved one knows your rights as a victim so you can get the care and time you deserve when recovering from nursing home related injuries.

The scary truth about nursing home related problems
In 2010 nearly one-half of attendants in nursing homes admitted to some form of elderly abuse or neglect (http://www.nursinghomeabuseguide.org/nursing-home-abuse-statistics/). However, this abuse is not always the kind we think of, in that it is not always physical or violent. Abuse and neglect can come in many forms and can be inflicted by people other than the nursing home staff such as the children, friends or family members of the elderly individual. Forms of nursing home abuse can range from emotional, physical, and sexual abuse to exploitation and neglect (https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-action/elder-justice/elder-abuse-facts/).

Physical forms of abuse and neglect are typically ones that show signs or marks. Physical abuse is inflicted through pain or by injuring another person. Other forms of physical abuse include deprivation, neglect, confinement, or sexual abuse. Deprivation occurs when a staff or family member willfully and knowingly withholds medication, food, assistance, or medically necessary devices, except in the case where the elderly individual has expressed clear desire to go without a portion of care. Neglect refers to failure on behalf of a caregiver to provide medical attention, food, and shelter for example. Abuse by confinement occurs when the elderly individual is isolated or restrained for purposes other than those deemed medically necessary.

Sexual abuse is a physical type of abuse that may be difficult to observe. This abuse occurs when an elderly individual is forced into any form of sexual activity including fondling or touching against their will. Sometimes sexual abuse can become a gray area because it can be unclear whether an elderly individual can give consent. Also, they may not be unable to understand what is going on or they may feel threatened to maintain silence about the event. Individuals in experiencing sexual abuse may not be able to communicate the event to a loved one or authority figure because they are confused or scared.

Other forms of abuse and neglect may leave no physical marks. These types of abuses can come in the form of financial exploitation, and emotional abuse. Financial exploitation occurs when a caregiver withholds or otherwise deprives an elderly individual of their financial resources. Financial exploitation can come in the form of the caregiver’s mismanagement of the resources or outright stealing of the resources.

Emotional abuse may be the hardest form of abuse to recognize because it leaves no physical marks or paper trail. However, emotional abuse can be just as painful as other physical types of abuse and neglect. Emotionally abusive caregivers inflict pain on victims by way of threats of violence, scare tactics including harassment and intimidation, or verbal assaults and foul language. The elderly individual may not come forward about emotional abuse because they do not understand what is happening or become fearful that the abuse will escalate to other types of physical abuse or neglect.

Signs of abuse or neglect can include unexplained and sudden changes in mood or weight loss, the silence of staff around visitors, bed sores, broken or fractured bones, refusal to eat or take medicine, outbursts, dehydration, cuts or bruises, frequent infections, or issues with cleanliness. Although not all symptoms can be signs of abuse or neglect, it is crucial to investigate things that appear out of the ordinary. http://www.nursinghomeabuseguide.org/

Avoiding nursing home related problems
How can you prevent potential abuse related to nursing home care? There are several things to consider when looking for a nursing home. The good news is that there are many resources available to help, such as checklists and tip sheets when searching for a nursing home. First and foremost many sources recommend that you do your research when picking out a nursing home (http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/info-02-2009/how_to_choose_a_nursing_home_the_do_s_of_due_diligence.html). Steps in this process are numerous. However, they will ensure you choose a place that will provide the minimal threat of abuse or neglect. Here is a quick list of things to consider when researching nursing homes:

Know and understand your rights – whether arriving at the nursing via hospital discharge or by careful selection you have rights to quality care and treatment. Locate the contact information for the local ombudsman program. Ombudsman programs are explicitly designed to investigate claims related to nursing home complaints.

Visit the nursing homes in person and online. The internet can provide a wealth of information such as reviews and ratings. However, an in-person visit will reveal those things that the brochure will not – such as smell, the number of staff, overall mood of the residents, quality of food, cleanliness, for example. In-person visits are a good time to talk to the staff about the services provided. You can also talk to other residents and their family members about their experiences at the nursing home.

Drop in at unexpected times such as the end of meals, during weekends or at staff shift change. Taste the food that they serve to the residents and observe scheduled activities.

Look for specialized staff credentials to ensure your loved one is receiving proper care. This care can come in the form of special dietary needs, physical therapy, or for memory issues. Also, check the number of nurses available to care for the residents. Compare the number of nurses and caretakers against the average occupancy of the home.

Each home offers a variety of services – some facilities cover transportation needs as well as various types of activities to support all different levels of care and lifestyles.

Check external references with neighbors or friends. These can be people that have loved ones in the same home you are considering or have some other type of experience with the home; if they have visited the home gauge their opinion.

Ask for copies of state inspection reports. The home administrator should have these reports readily available to anyone that requests a copy.

Ask questions about how requested rituals such as help with bathing and dressing will be honored. Ask about how medications are dispensed and monitored.

Check for things like grab bars, roll in showers, flat carpet and easy to use faucets. Look for pull cord alarms and talk to the staff about how residents are monitored for safety.

Ask about laundry service and how personal belongings are monitored and handled.

Check for visitor log requirements – ensure that strangers do not have access to your loved one. Look for a sign out sheet to log activities that will take your loved one off the property. Make sure they honor a list of pre-approved individuals that can take your loved one for a visit outside of the nursing home.

Consider the location. Although many people feel that putting a loved one in the closest home is the best, this is not always the case. Sometimes you may have to consider a home further away to achieve the level of care that best suits your loved one.

Once you have chosen a home, visit often. Both your presence and your diligence will help stop potential issues before they become problems. Discuss your loved one’s physical and emotional state with the nursing staff on an on-going basis.

Conclusion
Some of these types of abuse can leave marks, yet the majority do not. It is also possible that the elderly individual cannot recognize the abuse or communicate it to the proper authority or loved one. Families of elderly individuals must be diligent in monitoring the care that the loved one receives in a nursing home. If you see signs and symptoms of abuse examine them carefully. It is easy to dismiss obvious signs of abuse or neglect due to commonalities associated with old age or issues with memory. If you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse, do not wait to contact an attorney for help. There may be a time limit to file a case so do not hesitate to obtain a free, confidential consultation on your case.

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