Nursing Home Abuse in Oklahoma

For many families, the decision to place a loved one in a long term care facility is emotionally difficult.  However, in most of these cases, the family is simply unable to provide the around-the-clock skilled medical care their loved one requires.  Placement in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility is often the only option for providing an elderly or severely disabled family member with the care he or she needs.  Unfortunately, reports of nursing home neglect and abuse in Oklahoma and across the nation can further complicate a family's decision to place a loved one in a skilled care facility.  Though the majority of nursing home patients receive compassionate care, some suffer abuse or neglect at the hands of their intended caregivers.  When this occurs, Oklahoma nursing home lawyers can help victims of abuse or neglect receive the compensation they deserve for their mistreatment and resulting injuries. Nursing home abuse can take any number of forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.  It is important that family members be vigilant in watching for signs of abuse or neglect, because many patients are unwilling or unable to report mistreatment.  A patient may be physically or mentally unable to report neglect or abuse as a result of his or her medical condition.  For patients who are capable of reporting abuse, intimidation or fear of retaliation may prevent them from telling others about the abuse. Oklahoma nursing home abuse attorneys point to certain signs which may be indicative of abuse or neglect:

  • Bruises, cuts, burns, or open wounds
  • Bedsores
  • Malnutrition
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear of nursing home staff
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Withdrawal
  • Venereal disease
  • Unsanitary conditions
If you observe any of these symptoms of abuse, it is important to investigate further.  If nursing staff cannot satisfactorily explain any injuries your loved one has sustained, document the injuries and the response and report it to administration or, in cases of obvious abuse, to the police. One of the most common causes of nursing home injuries is a fall.  More than one third of preventable injuries requiring emergency room visits by nursing home residents are caused by falls.  For approximately 1,800 nursing home residents each year, fall-related injuries are fatal.  Many of these fall injuries and wrongful deaths from falls can be prevented if nursing home staff ensures adequate safety measures.  Nursing home fall prevention measures include:
  • Proper footwear for patients
  • Patients have appropriate walking aids and understand how to use them
  • Beds should be at appropriate height
  • Floors should not be slippery or obstructed
  • Lighting should be adequate
If you suspect your loved one is being subject to nursing home neglect or abuse, or if your family member has been injured in a fall at a skilled nursing facility, consult an attorney who can explain your rights and your options.