April 4th, 2017
Growing older is simply part of being human. We can only hope that when we’re no longer able to take care of ourselves that there is someone to provide that care with competence and compassion. For many aging folks in Arkansas, that means moving into a nursing home facility. And as a trusted member of their family, you help find the best facility they can afford with the understanding that all their needs will be provided while their rights are upheld. Unfortunately, not every nursing facility in Arkansas lives up to that responsibility.
As a nursing home resident, your aging loved one has a number of rights, the most important of which are the right to dignity, respect, and freedom and the right to be fully informed. In short, your aging loved one should retain the same freedoms every other American enjoys. Wherever those rights are compromised, nursing home neglect or abuse can exist.
But how do you recognize abuse or neglect? Look for the signs, including:
- Abnormally pale complexion
- Bruises in a pattern that would suggest restraints
- Excessive and sudden weight loss
- Fleas, lice, or dirt on resident or in resident’s room
- Poor personal hygiene or other unattended health problems
- Torn clothing or broken personal items
- Odors of urine or feces
- Untreated bedsores, wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts
If your aging loved shows indications of any of the above signs of abuse or neglect, call us immediately for a free consultation. Our experienced Arkansas nursing home abuse lawyers will fully investigate your loved one’s injuries and work to get them the justice they deserve. Don’t wait to get the help your aging loved one needs. Act now and give us a call.
February 4th, 2017
Senior citizens are some of society’s most vulnerable and they can’t always fend for themselves, or defend themselves. For those living in nursing homes, abuse can take on many forms – from unsanitary living conditions to unresponsive managers. If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, it’s important to understand the signs of abuse to protect them. Look for these six signs of abuse:
1. Changes in personal hygiene or appearance efforts
Maintaining personal hygiene is the most basic type of care. A noticeable change in appearance or hygiene could signal that the patient is not getting the daily attention required and deserved.
2. Malnutrition, dehydration or sudden weight loss
This signals that the patient is not getting proper fluid and nutrition, which can lead to long-term health problems.
3. Unexplained injuries
If your loved one has injuries that he or she cannot explain or that the nursing home staff cannot explain to your satisfaction, it could signal that the patient is not being monitored – or something worse.
4. Withdrawn or unusual changes in behavior
Unexplained changes in behavior can be a sign that there is something unsatisfactory about the living environment or signal deeper signs of distress.
5. A change in interaction with nursing home staff
If your loved one suddenly changes the way they feel about nursing home staff, it could be a sign that an incident has occurred.
6. Environmental hazards in patient’s room
If there are dangers in the room that haven’t been addressed, it can be a sign that nursing home staff is not taking proper care of your loved one.
If someone in your life has been the victim of nursing home abuse, take action to protect them. Anything but a comfortable, safe and healthy living situation is unacceptable. If you’ve seen signs of abuse, contact Arkansas’s attorneys for nursing home neglect to discuss the situation.
January 23rd, 2017
Nursing homes are required under federal law to give all residents a copy of their rights before or at the time they are admitted. Residents’ rights exist to ensure a high quality of life for elders and have existed since the 1980’s when concerns about neglect and poor quality of care in nursing homes led to resident-focused regulations.
In 1980, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act was passed to protect residents of nursing homes and similar facilities. Then, in 1987, a group of amendments known as the Federal Nursing Home Reform act were added, including one section on nursing home residents’ rights.
These new rights required nursing homes to provide facilities and care that ensured residents had a high quality of life and were able to get the care and services they needed. Nursing homes must meet the requirements outlined in the residents’ rights if they participate in Medicare or Medicaid. On the contrary, nursing homes that receive only state funds may not have to abide by the “bill of rights.”
What are the Residents’ Rights?
The nursing home residents’ rights as described in the Federal Nursing Home Reform act entitle residents, at the minimum, the right to:
- Be treated with respect
- Participate in activities
- Be free from discrimination, abuse, neglect and restraints
- Make complaints
- Get proper medical care
- Have their representative notified in the event of a complication or health event, or other change
- Get information on services and fees
- Manage their money
- Get proper privacy, property and living arrangements
- Spend time with visitors
- Get social services
- Leave the nursing home
- Have protection against unfair transfer or discharge
- Form or participate in resident groups
- Have their family and friends involved
What Happens if a Nursing Home Fails to Meet these Rights?
If you feel that the residents’ rights of a loved one have been violated, the nursing home may be contributing to nursing home neglect by breaching their duty of care to the resident. Call a nursing home neglect lawyer to discuss the signs of nursing home problems and what legal options are available to you.
December 8th, 2016
It is an unfortunate reality for the 1.4 million seniors living in nursing homes that the majority of these homes are understaffed. Nursing homes that are understaffed or inadequately prepared to take care of the elderly can easily lead to neglectful treatment of their patients. If you suspect your parent is being neglected at their nursing home, look for one of these common signs.
1) Your loved one has a change in their personal hygiene
Nursing home staff are expected to help the elderly with basic personal hygiene needs: brushing their teeth, brushing their hair, showering, getting dressed, clipping their nails and more. If a nursing home is not taking care of these basic needs, take notice.
2) They have unexplained injuries
Bruises, bumps and anything more serious are telltale signs of neglect. Be aware of any unexplained accidents.
3) There is a noticeable change in their behavior or mood
When someone is neglected, it can manifest emotionally as well as physically. Pay attention to changes in mood or behavior or if your loved one is acting withdrawn.
4) They experience sudden weight loss or dehydration
If your loved one is not receiving the nutrition or hydration they require, sudden weight loss or dehydration could be a sign that the nursing home is neglecting to meet their basic dietary needs.
5) There are unsanitary living conditions
If nursing staff has failed to keep your mom or dad’s room clean, change bedding frequently and keep the bathroom sanitary, this neglect could lead to sickness.
Contact an Attorney for Nursing Home Neglect
If you have noticed one of the signs above, or anything else that is making you wonder if your loved one is being neglected, contact a lawyer for nursing home neglect for a free consultation. A lawyer experienced in nursing home litigation will guide your next steps in righting the situation for your loved ones.
October 24th, 2016
When entrusting a loved one to a nursing home, there is an expectation that the elderly will receive care and conditions that meet their basic needs and be provided a healthy, supportive living environment. However, when a nursing home fails to uphold their duty of care, and the patient does not receive the level of care required, it is considered nursing home neglect. Nursing home neglect is an issue at facilities across the nation, and you should know what to look for if your loved one is living in an assisted living facility.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
How can you tell if your loved one is receiving harmful, sub-standard care? Look for these signs of neglect.
- Changes in personal hygiene or appearance efforts
- Sudden weight loss
- Unexplained injuries
- Withdrawn or unusual changes in behavior
- A change in interaction with nursing home staff
- Environmental hazards in patient’s room
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Like any form of neglect, nursing home neglect can come in many forms, both physical and emotional. Is your loved one experiencing these types of neglect?
- Emotional or Social
- Personal Hygiene
- Basic Needs
- Medical Neglect
Consult a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
If you suspect your loved one is being neglected by his or her nursing home, contact an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer to discuss the situation. You want the best for the elderly in your life, and anything but a comfortable and healthy living situation is unacceptable. A nursing home neglect lawyer will give protection to those who can’t always protect themselves by seeking legal retribution and recompense from the parties at fault for neglecting to give proper care to the elderly.
February 1st, 2016
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is one of the toughest decisions you’ll ever have to make. Having 24-hour care for them is crucial in this stage of their lives, but putting your trust in someone else to provide that care can be scary. You need to know that they are being treated with respect and dignity and that all of their needs are being met. Unfortunately, each year thousands of lawsuits are filed for nursing home abuse, many of which involved credible facilities in Arkansas.
Abuse can come in many forms, but in our experience, the most common is neglect. Nursing home neglect occurs anytime your loved one’s basic needs are withheld, even once. For instance, if your loved one requires regular medication at specific times and the nursing home staff fails to administer it as directed, your loved one may be the victim of neglect. Another example relates to basic care. Your loved one has the right to maintain proper hygiene, such as regular baths and access to clean toilet facilities. If your loved one has been denied access to either of these basic needs, they may be the victim of neglect.
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, give us a call. Our team of Arkansas nursing home abuse attorneys will investigate whether or not abuse exists and hold those responsible accountable. Your loved one deserves to be treated with respect, and we’ll fight to make sure they are.
November 9th, 2015
Arkansas state not only creates standards of care of patients living in long term care facilities, but it also outlines numerous nursing home resident’s rights that cannot be infringed upon. These rights include a patient’s choice to refuse medical treatment.
Failure to meet this particular right—as well as others—has led to allegations of nursing home abuse against a state-run long-term care facility here in Alabama. The family of the victim claims that the patient was over-medicated, forced to live in filthy conditions, and kicked out of the facility after refusing medical treatment.
Reports indicate the victim was abused more than three dozen times within her 15 months at the facility. This includes receiving double doses of medications and living in rooms infested with insects.
According to KARK 4 News, the victim’s family is now planning to take legal action against the facility, claiming the Department of Human Services is helping to cover up these deficiencies to protect the facility’s ratings. The family says they are not taking legal action just to be compensated, but instead to help create accountability among long-term care facilities.
The Arkansas nursing home abuse lawyers at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton would like to wish this family the best of luck in their pursuit of justice. We hope a decision in the case will help to bring closure to all who are involved.
September 28th, 2015
When you send a loved ones to live in a nursing home, you expect them to receive quality care. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Statistics show as many as 1-in-3 elderly nursing home residents will become victims of nursing home abuse or neglect this year.
Many victims of abuse do not survive, and it’s important for the families of these individuals to know that legal options are available. If your loved one died as the result of negligence, you may be able to file an Arkansas wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for your loss. In fact, one such case is currently making its way through the state’s legal system.
According to the Times Record, a male patient at Pine Bluff nursing home in Little Rock passed away in 2011 as the result of allegedly negligent care. The nursing home had argued they were immune from such legal action because they are a non-profit organization. A lower court upheld this argument, but on Sept. 16, the Arkansas Court of Appeals overturned the ruling.
Attorneys claimed the nursing home was manipulating financial records to maintain their status as a non-profit organization. A panel of judges agreed, and the case will now move forward.
At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we believe in protecting the rights of nursing home residents. Our Little Rock personal injury lawyers are hopeful a decision in the case helps bring a sense of closure to the family of the victim.
September 10th, 2015
Thom Diaz, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton Attorney:
Yes. Just because you were speeding and got hurt in wreck, it does not automatically mean you have no chance of winning your case. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton we have experience in working cases with speeding drivers.
Most states, like Arkansas, have adopted a comparative fault standard, where a jury hears the evidence and then compares each party’s fault. If an injured party’s fault is equal to, or greater than, a party he or she is suing, the laws of the state may completely bar recovery. However, if the injured party’s fault is less than the party he or she is suing, they can recover damages, but they are reduced by their respective percentage of fault.
So, if an injured person is speeding before a wreck, but the defendant driver pulled out in front of him, then the jury will compare their fault. If a jury finds the defendant driver was 75% negligent and the injured plaintiff driver was only 25% negligent (due to speeding), the injured party will recover for their damages, after they have been reduced by 25%. Stated another way, the injured plaintiff driver will only recover 75% of their total damages, but they do recover.
As you can see, there are a lot of “ifs” involved in determining how speeding affects your car accident case. Call an experienced personal injury attorney at Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton to help you sort it all those “ifs” out.
October 20th, 2014
Many older Americans are unable to care for themselves and reside in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. While many residents are provided with the medical treatment and assistance they require, some become victims. In fact, data from the National Center on Elder Abuse says as many as one-third of elderly United States citizens will become the victims of abuse or neglect this year. That’s why the Little Rock nursing home abuse lawyers with Rainwater, Holt & Sexton would like to tell you about the three most common types of abuse:
- Mental Abuse- Mental abuse can come in many forms, including verbal or emotional mistreatment, humiliation, insults, and threats of violence or retaliation. Taking away choices, such as when to get out of bed or eat, can also be construed as mental abuse.
- Physical Abuse- This is the most common form of mistreatment reported in nursing homes today and can include physical altercations, sexual assault, or forced ingestion of food or medication.
- Neglect- Often unreported, nursing home neglect occurs when patients aren’t given the time and care they require. Such abuse can manifest itself when caregivers fail to regularly move patients from beds or are negligent in providing proper hygiene and sanitation to patients.
If you or a loved one have been harmed as the result of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation. The Little Rock personal injury attorneys with Rainwater, Holt & Sexton are here to help you stop the abuse. Call us today at (800) 767-4815 to speak with our legal team about your situation.