Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Chesterfield

Award-Winning Trial Attorneys Prioritizing Your Needs and Goals

There are state and federal laws in place that protect residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities. If you or your loved one believes your rights have been violated or have experienced abuse in the home, you can file a civil claim for damages. At Nichols Lang & Hamlin, LLC, we prioritize our clients and make sure to strategize a case based on your interests. We are a team of award-winning trial attorneys who have over 60 years of experience litigating in court. Let us advocate for your or your loved ones’ nursing home rights and help you take legal action today.

Contact Nichols Lang & Hamlin, LLC for a free consultation to get started.

What Constitutes Elder Abuse?

Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) oversees abuse claims concerning victims 60 years and older or those with disabilities. According to Missouri law, abuse can be physical, sexual, or emotional, and it typically involves the infliction of injury or harm, including financial exploitation by any person, firm, or corporation.

Neglect and bullying of elderly residents may also be associated with abuse claims, as neglect involves the failure to provide services to an eligible adult as they are contractually required to do so, and this failure contributes to death or serious physical harm. Bullying is intimidation or harassment (or threat of intimidation or harassment) that may cause a reasonable adult to fear for their safety, whether committed physically, verbally, or electronically.

Are There Signs of Nursing Home Abuse Or Neglect?

Recognizing the indicators of nursing home abuse or neglect is critical for the safety of the elderly. The indicators are classified into physical, emotional, and financial symptoms.

Physical indicators of abuse or neglect include unexplained bruises, burns, or injuries, which may indicate mistreatment or hard handling. Poor personal hygiene is another red sign that indicates a lack of attention to residents' regular care routines. Additionally, indicators of malnutrition or dehydration, such as abrupt weight loss or dry skin, indicate an insufficient supply of food and drink.

Emotional and behavioral changes are also significant indicators. Residents who appear depressed, confused, withdrawn, or exhibit sudden mood swings may be experiencing abuse or neglect. An increase in agitation or anxiety, especially around certain caregivers, can further signal that something is amiss.

Financial exploitation is another form of abuse to watch for. This might manifest as unpaid bills despite adequate resources, sudden inability to pay bills, or unexpected gifts and transfers to non-family members.

It's essential to pay attention to these signs and take them seriously. Early detection and intervention can prevent further harm and ensure the safety and dignity of nursing home residents. 

Missouri Nursing Home Laws

Long-term residents in nursing homes have many rights under state and federal law, including the right to:

  • be fully informed in writing of their nursing home’s rules and regulations;
  • be free from mental and physical abuse;
  • participate in planning their care and be informed of their medical condition and available treatment options;
  • refuse treatment;
  • not be discharged or transferred from their care facility, unless in circumstances like nonpayment of a bill, threatening physical harm to fellow residents or staff, or medical conditions that require transfer;
  • select their own physician;
  • voice grievances against their care facility without retaliation;
  • manage their own finances or have the facility manage them;
  • not be subject to physical or chemical restraints put in place for the convenience of the nursing home;
  • use their possessions as space permits (as long as they do not interfere with the rights of others);
  • participate in social and religious activities;
  • confidentiality and privacy in their medical treatment, medical records, when they send or mail, and when they communicate with family or friends.

The DHSS also offers Adult Protective Services (APS) for adults who are unable to manage their own affairs, carry out their daily living activities, or protect themselves from abuse.

Adults participating in the APS have the following rights to:

  • protection;
  • self-determination;
  • confidentiality;
  • receive assistance;
  • participation in care-planning;
  • refuse services and medical treatment.

Let Us Help You File a Complaint Today

If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, we can help you take legal action against the perpetrator. The process for reporting abuse is fairly complex, and it involves an investigation by the Division of Regulation and Licensure. Reports or complaints are usually initiated within 24 hours, and an experienced lawyer at Nichols Lang & Hamlin, LLC can better help you navigate the process.

Schedule a free initial consultation with Nichols Lang & Hamlin, LLC to discuss your legal options today.

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