When families entrust their loved ones to a nursing home, they expect staff members to provide adequate safety, security and care to help ensure their elderly loved one’s needs are being met. When abuse or neglect happens, that trust is shattered. For both the victim and his or her family members, the results can be devastating. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Do not hesitate to contact our Chatham-Kent nursing home abuse lawyers to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim. We can help you find out if you have legal options to secure justice for your loved one’s abusive or negligent treatment. At Greg Monforton & Partners, our legal team has helped many victims and their families throughout Chatham-Kent, Ontario. If your loved one has been abused at Riverview Gardens, Copper Terrace or another facility, we are ready to go to work for you.
We work on a contingency fee basis. This means all of our services are provided at no upfront cost and we only charge if we help you obtain favorable compensation for your claim.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse occurs when a nursing home or staff member harms a resident. Residents can suffer abuse and neglect from a single or repeated act, or from a lack of appropriate action being taken by caregivers. In most cases, there is often more than one type of abuse happening at the same time.
As of 2016, there were about two million elderly people living in Ontario. Of that population, between six to 10 per cent have experienced or are currently experiencing some form of elder abuse. Unfortunately, it is often left to friends and family members of the victim to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse, which can go undetected or unreported for any number of reasons. For example, victims may:
- Fear retaliation from the abuser, especially if they are fully dependent on staff members for basic needs such as food, water, clothing and medication
- Feel hopeless or powerless when an abuser is extremely controlling or manipulative
- Have the inability to communicate due to a language barrier, dementia or some other health complication
How to Identify Abuse in Nursing Homes
Abuse in nursing homes can be identified by observing the following changes in your loved one’s appearance and/or demeanor:
- Unexplained bruises, marks or welts
- Lacerations or cuts
- Bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Broken bones or fractures
- Bite marks
- Dislocations or sprains
- Bleeding wounds
- Avoiding eye contact
- Low self-esteem
- Poor hygiene
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Frequent infections
- Unexplained viruses or diseases
- Social withdrawal
- Physical discomfort
- Sudden weight loss
In addition to these changes in mood, behavior and the presence of physical harm or neglect, there can be less obvious signs that nursing home abuse is occurring. If you notice your loved one is fearful or intimidated around certain staff members or even residents, it may be a sign of an abusive situation.
Immediately inform the nursing home administrator and contact a Chatham-Kent nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss the legal options available to you. We are ready to review your claim and determine if you have a valid case.
It is easy to get started. Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Elder abuse can take many forms. This is why you should contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Chatham-Kent with the knowledge and skills necessary to handle cases involving a wide variety of abuse and neglect, such as:
Physical abuse occurs when physical force is used on a resident causing bodily harm, physical pain or ongoing impairment. This may include:
This type of abuse can also include force-feeding and other physical punishments, overmedicating and threatening or assaulting a resident with a heavy weapon or object.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
Emotional or psychological abuse involves inflicting pain, anguish or distress on a resident, either verbally or nonverbally. This may include:
- Verbal assaults
- Hurling insults
- Threatening violence
- Shouting or yelling
- Ignoring requests
This type of abuse can leave a resident feeling agitated or upset, withdrawn or noncommunicative or displaying unusual behavior similar to persons with dementia, like anxiety, depression or mood swings.
Sexual abuse in a nursing home can occur when a resident is forced or tricked into unwanted sexual contact. This type of abuse includes making contact with someone who is too ill or confused to give consent. This can include:
- Sexual assault
- Unwanted touching
- Coerced nudity
- Sexual photography
Residents most at-risk of sexual abuse include those who suffer from cognitive impairment, most commonly caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Financial abuse involves improperly or illegally obtaining a resident’s personal assets or property. This may include:
- Stealing money or possessions from the resident
- Forging the resident’s signature to obtain funds
- Coercing the resident to unknowingly sign documents
- Signing the resident’s checks to withdraw funds
- Taking advantage of being power of attorney for financial gain
Financial exploitation can cause residents to lose money and possessions by signing over titles or other financial transactions without their consent.
Neglect in a nursing home can occur when a resident is denied the care and services he or she needs. Elder neglect is one of the most common forms of abuse, but often overlooked. This type of abuse can also include failing to provide a resident with the essential necessities, including:
If you believe you loved one is being abused in a nursing home, it is important to contact a Chatham-Kent nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible to discuss filing a claim. We can help you gather the evidence you need to pursue legal action against the at-fault party.
Call (866) 320-4770 today to see how we might be able to help you.
Ontario’s Nursing Home Laws
When it comes to nursing home abuse, Ontario follows strict legislation that helps regulate long-term care homes and protect the residents who live in these facilities. Every long-term care home within the province is governed by the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and Regulation 79/10.
These laws were designed to help ensure that residents in long-term care homes receive the highest quality care, medical treatment, support, services and overall respect owed to them. Nursing homes are required by law to provide a safe and secure environment free from abuse and neglect. This is outlined within the Resident’s Bill of Rights, which provides residents with the right to adequate and appropriate care and services without fear of coercion, discrimination or reprisal.
Nursing staff members are obligated to provide medications, prepare food, assist with therapy and other physical activities, eliminate slip and fall hazards and make sure residents are properly sheltered, clothed, fed, groomed and well cared for.
Even with these rules and regulations in place, incidents of nursing home abuse can still occur.
When is a Nursing Home Liable for Abuse?
A nursing home or its staff members could potentially be legally liable if negligence played a role in the resident’s abuse or injury. Negligence can include any of the following:
- Not properly training staff members to provide adequate care
- Failing to hire qualified staff or not employing enough staff members to save money
- Not performing background checks to identify any history of violence
- Failing to prevent bed sores or pressure ulcers from occurring
- Having poor care planning and care management in place
- Over-medicating residents or not giving patients the medications needed
- Causing or contributing to malnutrition or dehydration in patients
Nursing homes have a duty of care to provide a safe and clean environment for their residents. This includes protecting its residents from third-party abuse, such as abuse from other residents, guests or intruders within the facility. If you were injured by a third-party, the nursing home can also be held liable for providing poor security and supervision of its residents.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form so our nursing home abuse lawyers in Chatham-Kent can review your claim.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
The law requires you to report abuse If you know it is happening or have reasonable grounds to suspect it is. If you find out your loved one is being neglected or abused and you think it is an emergency, you should call 9-1-1.
If it is a non-emergency, you must report the abuse to the Director at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care by calling the toll-free ACTION line which is available seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Director will then look into the reported abuse and send an inspector to the nursing home immediately if the abuse is due to negligent acts or illegal conduct such as providing improper medical treatment or resident care that violates the standards set forth by the Long-Term Care Homes Act.
It is vital to act quickly to ensure the well-being of your loved one. Once the abuse had been reported, it may be in your best interest to contact one of our licenced Chatham-Kent nursing home abuse lawyers to get started on your case. We can carefully evaluate your situation and conduct a detailed investigation into your loved one’s abuse to determine the party or parties responsible.
Schedule your free case consultation today by calling (866) 320-4770.
Contact Our Chatham-Kent Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
If your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected in nursing home, you should call a skilled Chatham-Kent nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss filing a claim and pursuing compensation. Nursing homes have a responsibility to provide essential care to those who are vulnerable and unable to care for themselves. When that obligation is violated, the nursing home should be held liable for damages.
At Greg Monforton & Partners, our firm has helped protect the rights of nursing home victims who have suffered from many forms of abuse and will fight to protect your loved one’s best interests.
We offer a free, no obligation consultation to review your case and evaluate your legal options. All of our services are also provided at no upfront cost and we only charge if we help you obtain the fair and just compensation you and your family deserve.
Get started today by calling (866) 320-4770.