Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Colorado Springs
Elder abuse and neglect is becoming an epidemic throughout the United States. When the worst has happened, families should know there are things they can do to ensure that those guilty of the abuse are held liable for their actions. Contact The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., to speak directly to a Colorado Springs personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Dial (719) 475-2555 for a free consultation.
It is essential that you do your research and find the establishment that's right for your family's circumstances. There are many different types of care facilities to choose from, including:
- Adult daycare: Just as the name implies, an adult daycare center is a place where seniors are brought during the day, usually dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon or early evening. This is a great option for families who want to ensure their aging relative is able to stay at home, since it allows the regular caregiver to go to work or attend to other tasks. It also gives the senior access to regular social interaction and activities, as well as constant supervision and, if necessary, medical attention.
- Memory care: A memory care facility is a specialized nursing home for patients suffering from some form of dementia, such as Alzheimer's. Memory care usually involves a tailored program for each senior that is designed to delay the progression of symptoms and prolong quality of life for as long as possible. This is achieved by creating set routines that help ease the stress on the patient and exercises designed to stimulate memory retention. These facilities also have safety features geared specifically to those with dementia.
- Skilled nursing facility (SNF): A skilled nursing facility is a healthcare center that has medical staff on duty at all times, including at least one nurse and one doctor (though usually more depending on the size of the facility). SNFs are equipped to prescribe and dispense medicine, and perform some combination of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. They also have the capacity to provide meals and attend to personal hygiene. These types of facilities are typically for patients who have just left the hospital or have had a recent medical episode, and need specialized care as they recover. In general, this is a temporary stay until the patient is well enough to return home.
Every resident of a nursing home or elder care facility has certain rights that must be explained to them as soon as they move in. These rights are protected by federal and Colorado state law, and they include the right:
- To be treated with dignity and respect at all times.
- To be duly and clearly informed in writing regarding the services and fees of the residence prior to moving in.
- To manage your finances yourself or assign an agent to do so on your behalf.
- To privacy, and to retain your property as long as it doesn't interfere with your own well-being or the well-being of staff or your fellow residents.
- To your own medical information, and to be consulted about any procedures, medications, and care. You also have the right to see your own doctor.
- To set your own schedule and activities.
Most people think of abuse as physical abuse - shoving, hitting, or perhaps burning a victim. But there are many types of elder abuse that we see in nursing homes, such as:
- Emotional abuse can occur when a caregiver inflicts stress or upsets a nursing home resident. The caregiver may humiliate the victim, intimidate, or verbally assault the victim.
- Neglect is a type of abuse that involves not ensuring the elder is given proper care and attention. Staff may leave a senior in his room without food or water because the facility is understaffed, or as a passive form of punishment. Management needs to ensure there are enough caregivers to properly care for every nursing home resident.
- Self-neglect is when a resident refuses to take medication, or take care of personal hygiene. It is the staff's responsibility to ensure the nursing home resident is properly cared for. That's what they're paid to do.
- Abandonment is when a nursing home resident has been left alone for a long period of time, particularly off the grounds of the nursing home.
- Financial abuse occurs when a caregiver steals or uses a resident's assets or personal property without permission, or tricks the elder into giving up money or possessions.
- Sexual abuse by a caregiver, or sexual abuse by another nursing home resident, should never be allowed to occur in a nursing home.
If you suspect abuse has occurred, report it right away to the Colorado Department of Human Services. The situation can also be reported to the facility's administrator, the Colorado Nursing Home Administrators Board, local law enforcement, or a Colorado nursing home lawyer at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., who will know the next steps to take.
Once the report has been filed, the situation will be investigated. Criminal charges may be laid against the nursing home. This will not provide compensation for the victim or family. However, compensation may be available. Through a lawsuit, injured individuals may seek compensation for medical expenses, emotional distress, and mental and physical pain and suffering.
Colorado does have a cap of $250,000 on emotional pain and suffering. This is due to the fact that in emotionally charged cases, juries are prone to awarding immense amounts in pain and suffering. The right lawyer will know how to maximize your claim and get justice for your loved one.
If you suspect your loved one has been abused in a Colorado Springs nursing home, don't wait. Contact us today at (719) 475-2555. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we have the experience to handle these cases and get victims and their loved ones the compensation they deserve. We will fight for your family, and ensure those who perpetrated the abuse are held responsible for their actions.
- How to Keep Your Elderly Loved One Safe
- Elder Abuse - NIH
- Understanding Elder Abuse - CDC
- Overview of Elder Abuse - Merck Manual