Colorado Springs Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It’s never easy for families to place a loved one into a nursing home. They have a lot to think about, including worrying about whether their family member will receive proper care and attention. Most nursing homes in Colorado Springs provide exceptional service and meet the needs of their residents at all times. Unfortunately, many other nursing homes do not provide the same level of care. At some facilities, residents suffer from unthinkable abuse and neglect.
The mistreatment of nursing home residents is inexcusable. When it happens, and your loved one sustains serious injury, you can take legal action. An experienced and compassionate Denver personal injury lawyer from The Sawaya Law Firm can help you to immediately protect your loved one and to pursue full and fair compensation for all harm that your family member has suffered. Contact us now to learn more.
What Types of Abuse and Neglect Happen in Colorado Springs Nursing Homes?
Several types of mistreatment can occur in nursing homes in Colorado Springs. The five most common types that we have observed through the years at The Sawaya Law Firm are:
- Physical abuse – This occurs when nursing home staff members intentionally cause bodily injury or trauma to a patient. Residents with cognitive disorders are particularly susceptible to this type of abuse.
- Psychological abuse – Whenever nursing home staff members use abusive words or actions in order to cause stress, fear or mental anguish to a resident, it constitutes psychological abuse.
- Sexual abuse – Any type of unwanted sexual touching is sexual abuse which can cause residents to suffer physical as well as emotional injuries.
- Financial abuse – When a nursing home staff member gains control over a resident’s finances – typically through exploitation and manipulation – the resident or their loved ones can take legal action.
- Neglect – When nursing home staff members intentionally or unintentionally fail to provide the proper care to their residents, it is considered nursing home neglect. For instance, a nursing home may be liable if it neglects a resident who is bedridden and, in turn, causes the resident to suffer pressure sores.
What are the Rights of Colorado Springs Nursing Home Residents?
Under state and federal law, all nursing home residents in Colorado are guaranteed certain rights. The nursing home must inform residents of these rights and list them in writing before or during the admissions process. The resident should acknowledge in writing that the resident received this information. Nursing home residents have the right to:
- Be treated with dignity and respect at all times
- Participate in activities and programs
- Be free from discrimination, physical or chemical restraints and abuse and neglect
- File complaints when necessary without fear of retaliation
- Receive proper medical care
- Be fully informed of health conditions in a language they understand
- Have a say in the doctor they would like to see
- Participate in decisions that affect their care
- Access their medical records and medical reports
- Refuse experimental treatment
- Manage their own money
- Keep and use their personal belongings
- Have private visits
- Make and receive private phone calls
- Send and receive mail and email
- Have private visits with friends and family
- Receive social services
- Leave the nursing home for visits, doctor’s appointments and activities
- Leave the nursing home permanently.
It is important that you and your loved ones understand the rights of nursing home residents. Only then can you understand when the nursing home has violated them.
Understandably, you and your family members will be extremely upset after you learn (or even develop a suspicion) that your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect while in a Colorado Springs nursing home. You will also likely be confused. You may have no idea about what to do next to help your loved one.
Often, residents won’t talk about abuse or neglect – even to their loved ones. They may be too ashamed or embarrassed. Sometimes, they don’t even understand that the abuse is happening.
If this occurs, you should first talk with the nursing home staff – maybe the individual that you believe has committed the abuse or neglect and/or with an administrator. You should raise your concerns and ask questions such as:
- How did your loved one suffer the injuries that led you to suspect abuse or neglect?
- How did the nursing home treat your loved one’s injuries?
- What type of ongoing treatment is your loved one still receiving for those injuries?
- Did anyone at the nursing home file a report about the incident (or series of events)?
- What measures has the nursing home taken so these injuries don’t happen again?
If the nursing home can answer these questions to your satisfaction, that is clearly good news. Still, you should continue to closely monitor the treatment which your loved one receives. If the nursing home will not or cannot answer your questions satisfactorily, you should move on to other steps such as:
- Document everything – Take pictures of any injuries that your loved one has suffered and any unsanitary or unsafe conditions in your loved one’s home or in the home. Also, write down the names of any staff members that have provided care for your loved one (or failed to provide care) and the position they hold in the facility. Finally, write down the answers which the nursing home gave to any questions that you asked.
- Call the police – If your loved one faces imminent danger in a clearly abusive situation, contact a local law enforcement agency right away. If you need to move your loved one out of the home, you may need help from the Colorado Springs Police Department or the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
- Report the abuse – You can also report the abuse or neglect to state health officials, which may trigger an investigation and lead to possible sanctions against the facility. The following state agencies may provide you with assistance:
- Contact an attorney – The Sawaya Law Firm will help you to protect your loved one, conduct an independent investigation of the abuse or neglect and pursue all compensation that your loved one is due.
Our Colorado Springs Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help You
At The Sawaya Law Firm, we are passionate about protecting the rights of Colorado Springs nursing home residents and their families. If you suspect that your loved one has been abused or neglected, we will help you to hold the nursing home accountable and pursue full and fair compensation. Contact us today for your free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you during this difficult time.