Protect Your Loved one. Get the Legal Help You Need
No one wants to have a loved one in a nursing home or other assisted living facility. Although federal and state laws require that nursing homes maintain the highest standards of safety, we know that many nursing homes can be dangerous places. Nursing homes have a responsibility to their residents to make sure they are safe from mental and physical harm, are well-nourished and hydrated, and that their medical requirements are met daily. Unfortunately, a large number of nursing home neglect and abuse cases stem from poorly-trained staff or understaffing. We believe that many nursing homes are putting profits over people, and that nursing homes are choosing to cut costs at the expense of their residents’ proper care. This is not only unjust, it is dehumanizing, and it is against the law.
Baldwin Legal Services PLLC is dedicated to representing nursing home abuse and neglect victims, because having seen it firsthand, we understand the pain and suffering these victims feel, and we know that they often feel helpless and intimidated at the prospect of fighting the big assisted care providers and insurance companies. We are not intimidated by these institutions and know how to fight them to get you the justice you deserve for the abuse and to help stop abuse and neglect in the future.
Contact us if you or a member of your family has suffered:
- fractures or broken bones
- unexplained bruises or injuries
- accidents of an unknown origin
- inappropriate use of restraints
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- verbal abuse
- failure to turn patients in bed or move them from wheelchairs
- slip and fall accidents
- failure to use bedrails resulting in falls
- medication errors
Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes in Michigan
Physical abuse can take the form of hitting, slapping, shaking or pushing. Nursing home residents may also be exposed to unreasonable physical restraint, prolonged isolation and confinement, deprivation of food and water, and unauthorized psychotropic medications. Some Michigan nursing home residents may be violent and poorly supervised and may cause injury to other residents. Warning signs of physical abuse include:
- Unexplained bruises, welts or scars
- Broken bones, sprains or dislocations
- Signs of being restrained, such as rope marks on the wrists, ankles, throat or mouth
- Broken eyeglasses or frames
- Burns and abrasions
- Reports of drug overdose
- Refusal by caregivers to allow you to see the resident alone
If you suspect your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, you should notify the proper law enforcement and regulatory authorities immediately. If you feel that further legal action is required, you should speak to a Michigan nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
Nursing Home Slip-and-Falls
When a resident moves into a nursing home, the facility is required to design a care plan that includes a fall risk assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to determine what assistance the resident may need to safely move around. Most falls in nursing homes are caused by the caregivers’ negligence, and can be due to a variety of factors such as poor lighting, wet floors, poorly fitted wheelchairs or improper bed height.
Falls can be prevented, with or without the use of restraints such as bedrails. Restraints are typically a last resort, as studies have shown that limiting a person’s mobility can contribute to fall-related injuries. Walking and physical conditioning programs, lowered bed heights, raised toilet seats and avoiding clutter can all help prevent falls. Additionally, facilities should ensure there is adequate staff available to assist residents with getting around. Residents may also suffer from dementia or memory and thinking problems that can put them at further risk of trips, slips and falls when participating in daily activities.
Several other factors also contribute to assisted living falls:
- Hazards like wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, improperly fitted wheelchairs
- Medication errors or changes, especially with sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, can affect someone’s stability and reaction time
- Lack of assistance in moving about
- Other mobility problems caused by poor foot care, poorly fitting shoes or inadequate walking aids
When you suspect that a loved one is not receiving proper care, we can help. Please call 877-886-1441 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Pressure Sores / Bed Sores
Pressure sores, also known as bed sores, are all too common in nursing homes. Pressure sores typically start with redness in the skin. Blisters then form, followed by open sores or even crater-like holes that expose tissue and bone. Pressure sores pose serious medical concerns, as they can lead to sepsis, infection and death.
But Pressure sores are completely preventable as long as nursing home residents are receiving proper care. Unfortunately, overworked and underpaid nursing home staff may fail to follow care plans and may not take the time to properly reposition immobile residents. Some very basic preventive measures have been proven to protect residents from this type of injury, including turning residents at regular intervals, keeping them clean and dry, ensuring they are well hydrated and properly nourished, and utilizing the latest technological advances in cushions and mattresses.
In addition to bed sores, other signs of neglect are often seen in nursing homes when residents do not receive adequate assistance with:
- Eating and drinking, which can lead to malnutrition and dehydration
- Bathing or hand washing, which can lead to infection and poor hygiene
- Going to the bathroom or changing disposable briefs, which can result in residents falling or being left sitting in their own urine and feces
- Walking, which limits mobility
- Participating in other activities, which can lead to isolation and withdrawal
It is important to protect the rights of your loved one. Please call 877-886-1441 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Sexual Abuse in Michigan Nursing Homes and to the Elderly
Sexual abuse in Michigan nursing homes is a non-consensual interaction or contact, usually between a resident and caregiver. What makes this form of abuse especially shocking is that the caregiver is in a position of dominance or authority over a person who is weak or incapacitated. This kind of abuse may involve sex acts but it need not be physical. It can also involve forcing a person to view pornographic material or sexual acts, or forcing the elderly person to undress for no reason. Warning signs of sexual abuse in Michigan nursing homes include:
- Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections
- Bruising around the breasts or genitals
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Torn or bloody undergarments or bedding
If you suspect a friend or family member is a victim of nursing home abuse, you should speak to a Michigan nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
Nursing home residents and elderly individuals are attractive targets for financial abuse because many do not realize the value of their assets and often depend on others, so they can be easily influenced. Financial abuse, exploitation, embezzlement and caregiver theft against elder adults and nursing home residents can take many forms. Commonly, financial crimes against elder adults include:
- Getting an older person to sign a power of attorney, will or deed by using coercion or deception
- Forging a signature on financial documents or assets
- “Borrowing” substantial amounts, including money or an older person’s property without permission
- Promising lifelong care in exchange for property
- Telemarketing or investment scams that scare older individuals into sending money
- Charging credit cards without permission or under false pretenses
- Other scams that rely on deception or fraud
If you suspect elder abuse or financial fraud in a nursing home or assisted living facility in Michigan, schedule a free consultation today. Please call 877-886-1441 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Malnutrition and Dehydration
Sudden weight loss, confusion or disorientation, sores around and in the mouth, cracked lips, dry skin, sunken eyes, fever and thirst are signs that a loved one might not be receiving proper food and fluids. When nursing home or assisted living residents are inadequately nourished, numerous health problems can occur, including broken bones from falls due to weakness, bedsores, anemia, urinary tract infections, loss of muscle mass, pneumonia or even death. Malnourished and dehydrated adults also become more susceptible to infection, illness, fatigue and depression.
If you suspect that your loved one may be malnourished or dehydrated because of neglect, we can help. Please call 877-886-1441 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Many elderly individuals depend on daily medications to ease their pain, treat ailments and prevent illness. Improper medication or a missed or incorrect dosage can have catastrophic results. Nursing home residents trust that their care providers will properly allocate and administer their medications. When that does not happen and residents are not given the right medication at the right time, it is considered nursing home neglect.
Common medication errors in nursing homes include:
- Improper dosage, which can lead to brain damage, bleeding, altered moods, physical dependency or other health complications
- Incorrect medication or prescription error
- Medication not administered at the right time
- Mislabeled containers or manufacturing defects
- Miscommunication between health care professionals
When these errors occur, it is usually because a nursing home staff member, assisted living provider, nurse, doctor or other health care professional was negligent or failed to follow a care plan. If you believe your loved one is being chemically restrained or improperly medicated or was injured because of a medication error, we can help.
Michigan Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death can occur from malnutrition, dehydration, open sores, medication errors, bedsores, physical abuse, sexual assault, and neglect, along with a large variety of other serious nursing home abuse issues. If you have lost a loved one and are a spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandchild or other relative you may have legal grounds to file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim allows you to ask for monetary compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, and much more. Please call 877-886-1441 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
There are statute of limitations (time limits) on nursing home abuse and neglect cases. If you miss a deadline, your claim could be lost forever. To avoid these severe consequences, you should contact the Michigan nursing home abuse lawyer at Baldwin Legal Services PLLC immediately. Please call 877-886-1441 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.