Image credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Caring for elderly patients is an important, but challenging, task. Like any patient, elderly patients need medical treatment that meets the appropriate standard of care. But caring often involves a heightened level of care due to extenuating circumstances. When an elderly patient does not receive the appropriate standard of care, and he or she suffers illness, injury, or death as a result, the caregiver may be held liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. One of the most common forms in negligent medical care for elderly patients comes in the form of nursing home abuse and neglect. Nursing home abuse can include inadequate medical treatment, physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and neglect. In fact, neglect is one of the most common types of nursing home abuse. Although nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult to spot, the following are some common signs that an elderly patient may be the victim of nursing home abuse:
- Injuries from falls
- Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities or change in mood
- Sudden changes in financial situation
- Poor hygiene
- Unusual weight loss
- Strained or tense relationships between the caregiver and nursing home patient
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are all too common. In fact, a February 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) – entitled “Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries” – reported that approximately 22% of Medicare beneficiaries experienced an adverse event (harm resulting from medical care) while in a skilled nursing facility. Elderly patients can also be the victim of medical malpractice committed by a doctor, hospital, or home health care provider.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been the victim inadequate medical care – whether in a hospital, home health care, or nursing home setting – it is important to act quickly to get proper medical care and protect your legal rights. At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of elderly patients and ensuring that they and their families get the compensation they deserve in the event that they are the victim of medical malpractice. Contact our office at (312) 445-9084to schedule a free consultation with one of our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.