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Omaha Alzheimer Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Advocating for Injured and Abused Residents in Omaha

Alzheimer’s and dementia affect millions of elderly Americans every year, significantly impacting their ability to live their day-to-day lives without assistance. Many older adults need round-the-clock care at nursing homes, often requiring diligent assistance from staff members, nurses, and doctors to enjoy a comfortable life. Sadly, because this disease significantly affects their memories, nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s are often the targets of abuse and neglect, leading to catastrophic injuries and even deaths.

If your loved one was injured by a negligent or abusive nursing home staff member, reach out to Bottlinger Law L.L.C. Our compassionate and diligent Omaha Alzheimer nursing home abuse attorney can launch an in-depth investigation into the nursing home facility to determine how your loved one was injured and who can be held liable in a claim for compensation. Contact us today at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Why Is Abuse and Neglect More Common with Residents with Alzheimer’s?

Diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia can seriously impact a resident’s ability to remember events, including both short-term and long-term memories. They may have difficulties remembering loved ones, friends, fellow residents, and staff at a facility on a day-to-day basis, as well as older memories. Many residents also suffer from sundowning, which involves mood swings that trigger after sunset. The resident may become more irritable, angry, and argumentative with staff.

In order to effectively treat an Alzheimer’s resident, staff must be patient, thorough, and diligent in their actions. Even if a resident is disruptive, staff should always practice compassion when caring for them. However, the extra time and effort that goes into treating Alzheimer’s can drive staff to be neglectful or reckless. It is not uncommon for administrators and staff to use anti-psychotics on residents to make them more docile or forcefully restraining them to beds, despite strict laws against both of these practices. Even more residents are neglected as staff members ignore pressing issues, including bedsores, treatment plans, resident requests, and hygiene.

What is more insidious is when an abusive staff member gets close to a resident. Because of an Alzheimer’s resident’s poor memory, staff may take advantage of them, often by:

  • Physically or sexually abusing them
  • Emotionally tormenting them through taunts, insults, or even discrimination
  • Manipulating their finances, such as making them sign financial release forms
  • Taking their personal effects, such as jewelry

Any act of abuse against a nursing home resident should be met with harsh consequences. However, nursing home abuse can be overlooked when Alzheimer’s is involved, as residents may not be able to clearly explain the issue to administrators or authorities or cannot fully remember the traumatic events. It often falls on other staff, administrators, visitors, or family members to identify the signs of abuse and report them immediately.

How Are Abuse and Neglect Identified?

It is important to understand that each type of abuse presents differently and there are many instances where the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia can overlap with the signs of abuse or neglect. However, we at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. have broken down the general signs so that you may more easily protect your loved one, as well as the specific signs for each type of abuse.

In general, abuse and neglect in a nursing home can be identified by:

  • Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, cuts, or sprains
  • A staff member refusing to leave the room when you are visiting
  • Your loved one acting anxious or afraid around a particular resident
  • Increased agitation or irritation outside of the standard progression of Alzheimer’s
  • Sudden weight loss

If you suspect your loved one is being neglected at a facility, you will want to keep an eye out for:

For specific instances of abuse, you will want to look out for:

Physical Abuse: Bruises, cuts, or fractures; signs of forced restraints; or emotional agitation around staff.

Emotional Abuse: Sudden onset depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues; withdrawal or fear; signs of agitation (nail biting, rocking back and forth, muttering, etc.); lack of appetite; poor sleeping habits; or mood swings.

Sexual Abuse: Sudden STIs/STDs; unexplained bruises or cuts near their genitals; bloody or stained bedding or underwear; fear and anxiety around staff members; sudden weight loss; and difficulty sitting due to pain or discomfort.

Financial Abuse: Unexplained purchases or charges to health insurance; missing cash or jewelry; overdue bills; changes to wills; and staff appearing overly friendly to a resident.

What if My Loved One Is Being Abused?

When we place a loved one into a nursing home facility, we do so with the hope that the staff and administrators will do everything they can to help our loved one live comfortably. However, when they fail in that regard, either due to abuse or neglect, it is important for you to speak up and advocate for your loved one’s best interest, especially when they cannot. You are their strongest advocate and have the best chance of identifying abuse or neglect.

If you suspect your loved one is being mistreated at a facility in Nebraska, there are steps you can take:

  1. Remove your loved one from the facility as quickly as possible.
  2. Contact local authorities and Nebraska’s Long-term Care Ombudsman.
  3. Document all signs of abuse, even if it only a written account.
  4. Speak to a medical expert (one that is separate from the facility) about your loved one’s condition and ask for a medical review.
  5. Contact a nursing home abuse attorney

Compassionate and Thorough Legal Guidance

Responding to nursing home abuse, especially when your loved one has Alzheimer’s, is a difficult prospect. An in-depth investigation will need to be launched into the facility to determine if they violated any state or federal laws or if the issue is more widespread. As the authorities try to determine who is at fault for your loved one’s injuries or mistreatment, you may be worried about how to care for them or deal with the added financial costs.

However, if a nursing home mistreated your loved one through abuse or neglect, then you may be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation. This can be difficult to do on your own while you are taking care of your loved one, but if you work with an Omaha personal injury attorney at Bottlinger Law L.L.C., our legal team can do all the heavy lifting. With years of experience, our lead attorney can thoroughly review your case and advocate for your loved one’s best interest. We also work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront costs to working with us. To learn how, contact our firm at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation.

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