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b2ap3_thumbnail_JAKheadshot.jpgBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Even though nursing homes can provide essential care for elderly people, many families are understandably hesitant to place their loved ones in a situation where they may be at risk of harm. Stories about nursing home abuse often appear in the news, and families may worry that a person will be at risk of physical violence, verbal abuse, or even sexual assault. While these issues are a serious concern, families will also want to be aware of the possibility that a nursing home resident may experience neglect, potentially causing them to suffer serious personal injuries and adverse health conditions.

Injuries That May Occur Because of Negligence by Nursing Home Staff Members

Nursing home neglect differs from nursing home abuse in that it usually is not purposely committed by staff members with the intent of causing harm to a patient. Instead, it typically occurs because a nursing home is understaffed. Many facilities struggle to maintain the proper staffing levels and ensure that they have medical personnel and other providers available at all times to meet the needs of residents. Even if a nursing home does have adequate staffing, there are many situations where staff members may not have been fully trained in the appropriate forms of care and the procedures that must be followed.

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Milwaukee nursing home neglect lawyerBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

Although nursing homes are designed to provide a high level of care for individuals who need round-the-clock monitoring, about 5 percent of the country’s nursing homes have been flagged for abuse. Nursing Home Compare, a government-run database, has added an icon to its listings of nursing homes that are cited for neglect or abuse, and facilities will remain flagged until they go one full year without an infraction. An injury caused by nursing home negligence can be physically and emotionally draining for both you and your loved one. If you suspect a friend or family member is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your options for pursuing financial compensation from a negligent facility.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

According to Wisconsin law, nursing home abuse is defined as acts that are performed with the intent of causing harm to a nursing home resident. They may include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or financial exploitation. Any acts which are meant to threaten, intimidate, humiliate, frighten, or harass a resident may be considered abuse. 

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Milwaukee, WI elder abuse defense attorney

When a loved one enters a nursing home, it is usually with the idea that they will receive better care than their family or friends can provide at home. Sadly, this is not always the case. However, many nursing homes do provide quality care yet still face accusations that staff members did not provide the proper care. What can health care facilities, such as nursing homes, do to protect themselves from allegations of abuse?

Sad Statistics

No one can deny that nursing home abuse is a real concern. Consider:

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Milwaukee elder abuse attorneyBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

Elder abuse and neglect is all too prevalent in today’s world. As baby boomers continue to age, the number of individuals in nursing homes continues to increase. In order to monitor and attempt to reduce the number of abuse victims, the National Center on Elder Abuse studies the trends and prevalence of elder abuse in America. According to one of their studies, it is estimated that 1 in 13 older adults had been victims of at least one form of elder abuse in the previous year. One of the most devastating statistics reveals that those who suffer from dementia become even greater targets. According to a 2009 study, almost 50% of people with dementia experience some form of abuse. 

These statistics are discouraging, especially for those whose only option is residing at a nursing home. Knowing the different types of abuse and recognizing their identifiers can help save elderly victims and hopefully lower the number of individuals that suffer from nursing home abuse.

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Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconsin wrongful death lawyer, Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyerAccording to statistics, elder abuse occurs in one out of three nursing homes. Often, that abuse is experienced at the hands of staff, but a recent study has also revealed that resident-on-resident abuse occurs frequently as well. One woman, suffocated and strangled to death, is an example of the latter. But just how much ammunition do you or your loved ones have against a nursing home if wrongful death, abuse, or negligence has occurred? The answer to that question may lie in the paperwork.

Roommate Charged with Murder, Nursing Home Never Implicated

Despite alleged documents that stated the deceased’s roommate was a risk to herself and/or others, authorities focused their attention on the resident actually responsible for the 100-year-old woman’s death rather than investigating the facility. Charged with murder and then deemed unfit to stand trial because she suffered from dementia, she was eventually committed to a state hospital. But the nursing home responsible for their care was never implicated, either criminally or otherwise.

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