Nursing Home Lawyer Memphis TN
Darrell Castle & Associates is the nursing home lawyer Memphis, Tennessee trusts to handle sensitive cases. If you or a loved one has experienced abuse at the hands of a nursing home caretaker, or suspect elder abuse or neglect, please call us today. We want to help.
Darrell Castle & Associates are known for their compassionate ethical work. We understand the anxiety surrounding elder abuse and the fear. We hate that elder abuse is a fact and we will fight against it with all of our resources.
A well-versed nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN can help guide you in determining whether or not abuse may have occurred and how to fight it.
The Types And Frequency Of Nursing Home Abuse
Life in a nursing home can be difficult for both residents and staff. The work that caregivers do is important and stressful, but hopefully rewarding as well. Unfortunately, too many nursing home staff members allow themselves to succumb to either the stresses of the job or their own worst instincts, and the result is elder abuse.
While most of us think of elder abuse as physical violence, it actually takes numerous forms. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is critical to pay attention to clues that could indicate he or she is being abused. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in any way, it’s vital that you speak with an experienced Memphis, Tennessee nursing home lawyer from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC as soon as you can. Working with a Memphis, TN nursing home lawyer doesn’t obligate you to act upon your suspicions but it will allow you to make an informed decision about your options.
Examples Of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse in a nursing home (or any setting) can be physical, verbal/psychological, sexual, or financial. Neglect is also considered a form of abuse. It is difficult to fully quantify how often each type occurs, because this problem is widely underreported. But we’ll be sharing some statistics of reported cases from the Nursing Home Abuse Justice website.
Physical abuse: This is usually defined as staff members physically assaulting patients. It occurs in about 27.4 percent of cases. Evidence can include cuts, bruises, and the sudden appearance of mobility or movement issues.
Verbal/psychological abuse: This is the second most-reported type of staff-inflicted abuse, at 19.4 percent. It includes verbal insults and threats, derogatory language and mockery. In recent years, many cases have made the news because they were captured on cellphone cameras or hidden security cameras installed by the family members of residents. This type of abuse can have profound negative effects on residents, even if they are cognitively disabled and non-communicative.
Sex Abuse: Sadly, rape and other forms of sex abuse occur in nursing homes at least 7.9 percent of the time. Family members may notice agitation, depression and fear in their loved ones in addition to any physical symptoms.
Financial Abuse: Older adults are often exploited financially in their own homes and in nursing homes. About 7.9 percent of reported abuse cases in nursing homes involve financial abuse. This could include stealing from patient rooms, forcing patients to write checks or give cash or scamming them out of their money. An experienced Memphis, TN nursing home lawyer can help in this situation as well as those involving physical abuse or neglect. Too often, patients don’t realize that they have rights when it comes to financial abuse matters.
Neglect: Nursing home patients need regular care and assistance, which is why they are in a nursing home to begin with. Staff members who neglect their patients are committing a form of illegal abuse. It is important to understand that your loved one has rights and that a Memphis, TN nursing home lawyer can help you to ensure that those rights are protected. Statistics show that “gross neglect” accounted for 15.3 percent of reported nursing home abuse.
Facts About Elder Abuse
While most nursing home workers are dedicated professionals, the unfortunate fact is that they are underpaid and overworked. For some, the pressure becomes so great that they wind up taking their frustrations out on residents. It’s more common than most people think, and not confined to the US; in 2020, the World Health Organization reported that more than 64 percent of nursing home workers around the world admitted to engaging in abuse or neglect toward residents. If you have reason to believe an elderly family member is being abused, your first course of action should be to contact a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN.
Who Is at Risk?
According to the National Council on Aging, an estimated 5,000,000 elderly people are abused or suffer neglect every year. However, not all of these cases get reported, making it difficult to obtain accurate figures. While any nursing home resident is at risk, some groups are more likely to be abused than others. Female residents are the most likely to suffer some kind of abuse, either at the hands of a fellow resident or a staff member. Those of low socioeconomic status who rely on Medicaid are also at risk since they typically wind up at lower-quality facilities. Health factors are another issue, whether they be medical or psychological. This information is important for a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN while building a case.
How Are Nursing Home Residents Are Abused?
The National Center for Victims of Crime has found that nearly half of all cases of abuse involved some kind of physical assault. Other forms of abuse include:
- Psychological abuse (name-calling, threats, “gaslighting,” etc.): 20 percent
- Neglect: 15 percent
- Sexual abuse: 8 percent
- Extortion or fraud: 8 percent
What Are the Signs?
Abuse victims are often reluctant to report their abusers. Here are signs to look for.
Outward manifestations of physical abuse can range from dehydration to serious injuries such as broken bones. Often, a victim of physical abuse will have bruising, especially around the wrists and ankles. The victim may also be listless from having been sedated unnecessarily.
A nursing home abuse victim may be unusually withdrawn, wish to be left alone, subject to sudden emotional outbursts, or found wandering aimlessly. They may also be afraid to speak in front of a staff member.
If you notice any of the aforementioned indications, call a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN as soon as possible. v
6 Steps for Nursing Home Abuse Recovery
Elder abuse or neglect in a nursing home in lawyer Memphis TN can be a sad reality that causes trauma for an elderly resident. The stress and heartache of this experience can feel overwhelming, but nursing home lawyers like Darrell Castle & Associates can help guide you in the recovery process. An informed approach can provide the support and healing necessary for loved ones to live the life they deserve. Here are some steps to consider in your recovery plan.
1. Be Aware
While they do have their own unique circumstances, the elderly deal with trauma in similar ways as everyone else. They will need to have a sense of safety to aid in their recovery. If your loved one shows behaviors such as irritation or withdrawal, these can be a reaction to experienced trauma rather than personal attacks. Demonstrating awareness of the difficult situation loved ones have been through and of their healing during the recovery process is key. This will help them to feel safe and seen.
2. Talk and Listen
Your loved one may need time to talk with you about the trauma experienced in a nursing home in lawyer Memphis TN. Since sharing a traumatic experience has certain ramifications, it is important to respect boundaries and consider your elderly loved one’s individual needs instead of forcing the conversation. You should also look out for nonverbal cues that can help you to understand his or her physical and mental states.
3. Give It Time
Patience truly is a virtue. Your elderly loved one will need time to process and respond. Recovery cannot take place in a hurry, so trust that taking it one step and one day at a time will bring about the necessary healing.
4. Reach Out
Your community has resources to help you and your elderly loved one on the road to recovery. These resources can include law enforcement, finance professionals, mental health practitioners and lawyers experienced in navigating abuse or neglect in a nursing home in lawyer Memphis TN, such as Darrell Castle & Associates. Encouraging friends and relatives to visit regularly can also bring healing and joy to your loved one.
5. Embrace Mutual Learning
Recovery will be a learning process for both you and your elderly loved one. Especially after an incident of abuse, you should become more involved by educating yourself and others concerned about the health care of your loved one. Not only will this help in recovery, it will also reduce the chances that abuse occurs again in the future.
6. Increase Monitoring
You should always remain alert to the symptoms and signs of abuse. When abuse is suspected, acting quickly can help to limit the pain and damage it causes. One of the first steps you can take is to contact a nursing home lawyer as soon as possible to pursue compensation and support in recovery.
Abuse and neglect in a nursing home in lawyer Memphis TN is an unfortunate possibility, even with your best efforts to protect your elderly loved one. If abuse or neglect does occur, it’s important that you hold the abusers accountable and establish a recovery plan. Darrell Castle & Associates is dedicated to helping you through these steps to give your family hope and healing.
Discuss Your Options With An Attorney
If you suspect that your loved one has been abused or is being abused, it is important to act as soon as possible. Please contact a Memphis, TN nursing home lawyer to share your concerns and discuss next steps in seeking relief, justice and compensation.
Indications There May Be Physical Abuse or Neglect
- Bed sores;
- Emotionally upset, easily agitated or withdrawn;
- Unusual and abrupt changes in behavior (rocking, biting, fear of being touched);
- Reluctance to speak openly in front of a caregiver;
- Head injuries and bodily fractures (in particular hip injuries);
- Desire for isolation;
- Unexplained injuries and broken bones;
- Bruises or sores, in particular on wrists;
- Wandering or emotional bursts followed by wandering; and
- Heavy sedation.
What to Do If You suspect Physical Neglect or Abuse
Most elder abuse cases go unreported, which lends to the pervasiveness of this condition in our society. Yet thousands of complaints of elder abuse incidents occur every year. In Memphis County, people are becoming increasingly aware of this serious situation. Often shame and denial cause people to stay silent, but it is imperative to address the situation openly.
The first thing you need to do if you suspect abuse or neglect is to communicate with the leaders at the nursing home, write down your concerns and maintain copies. If you feel danger is imminent, contact Adult Protective Services or talk with the police. An experienced nursing home lawyer Memphis TN relies upon will be able to help you through this process, we have a zero-tolerance approach to elder abuse.
Currently, the most prevalent abuse of elders is financial abuse. AARP recently reported that only 1 in 44 elder financial abuse cases are reported. Predominantly, cases of financial abuse incidents are perpetrated by a caretaker, friend or neighbor. These are individuals who may feel entitled to the elder individual’s assets because of their intimacy or role as a caretaker.
It is imperative to watch for the signs and report concerns or suspicions immediately. Darrell Castle & Associates is the nursing home lawyer Memphis TN depends upon to uncover these nasty schemes and bring perpetrators to justice.
Indications There May Be Financial Abuse
- Previously financially savvy individuals exhibit confusion and fuzziness about certain payments, checks or money;
- A lack of interest in finances, as if someone else is taking the lead;
- Individual cannot recall making large payments or withdrawals;
- Sudden new friendships, unusual intimate friendships, or financial counselors that do not have licenses;
- Physical frailty may be an invitation for housing contractors and workmen to develop new “friendships” or steal information;
- Elder not wanting to discuss money when with a new friend;
- Social isolation – can lend to strangers taking advantage; and
- Identity fraud can occur when a senior is receiving paper mailings, credit card applications, or emails without a secure server.
What to Do If You Suspect Financial Abuse
If you are the primary caretaker, you may have access to the financial records of the senior, in which case, you can monitor their finances. If not, one thing you can do immediately is to contact the elder’s bank, if it is a reputable bank, and file a concern or report. Financial Institutions have strict reporting policies and are responsible for investigating the situation.
Don’t stop there, however, because banks cannot necessarily take action. If the issue stem to a nursing home caretaker, the nursing home must be contacted. You should also contact a capable Memphis nursing home lawyer such as Darrell Castle & Associates as soon as possible.
Elder abuse and neglect, whether it is physical, emotional or financial is a serious problem in our society, and it is usually hidden and very difficult to talk about. It is critical to intervene as soon as you realize something is wrong. Senior abuse can start with a slap on the hand or a stolen envelope of cash, and it can go all the way up to rape and murder. Help be a part of the solution, contact Darrell Castle & Associates, the nursing home lawyer Memphis TN knows will do everything in our power to see justice served.
When Is Restraint Use Nursing Home Abuse?
When a person lives in a nursing home, it is because the time has come that they are unable to live on their own. Maybe they have too many mental or physical disabilities that limit their activities. In some cases, these issues make it necessary for the resident to have to be restrained in order to limit their movement, so they are unable to harm themselves or others. For example, bed rails on the side of the bed will help keep a resident safe from rolling off the bed.
There are two different types of restraints that nursing homes use: physical and chemical. These restraints should only be used when absolutely necessary and only to prevent injury. Restraints should never be used to punish a resident or to make things easier for nursing home staff. This is against Tennessee law on nursing home regulations.
If your loved one has been illegally restrained by nursing home staff, contact Darrell Castle & Associates to speak with a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN to find out what legal options you may have.
The Law Protects Residents
Each state has its own nursing home care laws. These laws protect the rights of nursing home residents, stipulating what nursing home staff must provide nursing home residents and what residents’ rights are. Generally, nursing home residents have the right to:
- Be treated with dignity and respect at all times
- Be free from abuse and neglect from nursing home staff
- Receive medical care from the doctor they choose
- Refuse unwanted medical treatment
- Be free of unwanted restraint
- Keep personal items in their room
- Receive visits, phone calls, mail, and other correspondence
To find out the specific laws in your state, contact a nursing home abuse attorney who will explain what your elderly loved one’s rights are.
What Is Unwanted Restraint?
Although no nursing home resident would likely ever agree to restraints, there are times when it is acceptable. For example, if a resident suffers from dementia and gets out of bed at night and wanders, staff may restrain the patient in order to make sure they do not get up in the middle of the night on their own and become injured. The resident’s family should be totally informed of this use. If the family is not informed, they should immediately contact a Memphis TN nursing home lawyer.
Examples of restraints that are considered unreasonable are:
- Restraints that prohibit the resident from having social interaction
- Restraints that cause pain or injuries, such as bedsores, bruises, cuts, or ulcers
- Restraints used to humiliate or punish the resident
- Restraints use for the convenience of nursing home staff
- Restrains that make any injuries or medical conditions worse
- Restraints that being used because of abuse or neglect by staff
Let a Memphis TN Nursing Home Lawyer Help
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, the legal team at Darrell Castle & Associates is here to help. To speak with a dedicated nursing home lawyer Memphis TN clients recommend, call our office today to find out if your family is eligible for financial compensation for the damages inflicted. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Nursing Home Lawyer Memphis TN
No one wants to need a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN, but when the need happens, there is no avoiding it. When we put a loved one into the care of others we trust that they are going to be cared for. What happens when that doesn’t happen though? Psychological abuse can happen in nursing homes and not just from the staff but also from the other residents.
Psychological abuse is dangerous as it can lead to lasting emotional damage and even contribute to the decline of physical health. A lawyer can step in and help you find out what is happening, and get the compensation your family deserves to help the healing process happen.
What is Psychological Abuse?
Often psychological abuse is subtle and you don’t always notice it. It is also often done when other types of abuse are being done making it even harder to pinpoint. It can cause extreme fear, sadness, and anxiety to form in elder residents and this can be dangerous to them. If your loved one is already feeling down about being moved to a nursing home it can be hard to know if abuse is happening or if they are just still adjusting. Here are some of the types of psychological abuse that can happen:
- Intimidation and threatening the patient
- Ridiculing or insulting them
- Making the resident feel guilty or distressed
- Yelling or shouting at the resident
- Ignoring the resident or giving them the silent treatment
- Isolating them from friends or family
- Preventing them from participating in social activities
- Terrorizing the resident
- Withholding food or water because the resident “didn’t behave”
- Treating the resident as a child
- Embarrassing the resident in front of peers
Signs of Psychological Abuse
As mentioned psychological abuse is often more subtle than other kinds of abuse that can happen. Because of that, it can be hard to spot at first. As the abuse progress, the resident may start to exhibit several indicators of abuse and it should become very clear something is wrong. Typically those who go through this type of abuse will become more timid, withdrawn, and depressed. However, others may become more agitated and aggressive. Here are some indicators that psychological abuse is happening:
- Depression and withdrawal
- Refusal to interact or speak with others
- Sudden changes in personality or behavior
- Excessive fear or nervousness
- Unusual behavor
If the abuse continues for a long period of time then your loved one might have serious consequences happen for their health. If they are feeling depressed then they could easily lose their appetite and refuse to eat. Because of this, they could suffer issues with their immune system and get sicker quicker. There is also the possibility they aren’t sleeping as they should due to anxiety and that too can hurt their body. No matter what is going on the abuse can truly hinder not only their mental health but also their physical health.
If you suspect your loved one to have been a victim of abuse then talking to a nursing home lawyer in Memphis Tennessee is going to be in your best interest. You can learn how to help your loved one and our educated team at Darrel Castle & Associates can help you get the compensation you deserve to help your loved one heal.
Elements of a Nursing Home Neglect Case
You trust a nursing home to have the best interests of your loved one. You expect that they will provide skilled nursing care, nutritious meals, and social and emotional stimulation. And so it is gut wrenching when you realize that the opposite is true. If you believe your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, you should speak with a lawyer to see what your options are. To discuss your case with an experienced nursing home lawyer in Memphis, TN, call Darrell Castle & Associates today. We can help you understand whether you should seek compensation for the damages your loved one suffered. In order to hold the nursing care facility accountable, your case must be able to demonstrate the following:
Liability | To show that the nursing home was liable, you will need to demonstrate that your loved one was under their care and that they failed to meet the universal standard of care. The standard of care is based on what actions a “normal” facility with similar staffing would take in a similar situation. A knowledgeable lawyer’s help can be key. They often hire experts to provide testimony about what kind of care should have been given. From their previous experience representing elder abuse patients, they will personally know the experts who will be the best to support your case.
Causation | Next you must show that the nursing home’s neglect is what caused your loved one suffering. Proving causation can be tricky. If your loved one had a pre-existing condition, the nursing home may try to claim that it was the reason the patient harm. Once again, this is where having a skilled lawyer can make a huge difference in your case. Your lawyer will determine what witnesses will testify and what experts will provide a deposition to prove causation. They will also use medical records to show how the facility’s care was below standard. A nursing home lawyer in Memphis, TN from a firm like Darrell Castle & Associates can help you understand how to show causation.
Damages | Finally you will need to quantify the damages the nursing home caused your loved one. Some may be obvious such as medical bills and the cost of the facility, but many can be harder to put a number on unless you have experience. Intangible costs such as emotional trauma of the victim and their family can be harder to substantiate. A lawyer will understand how to put a number to the wrongs you and your loved ones have suffered and help you get the settlement you deserve.
Hiring a lawyer to tell you can benefit your case significantly. A nursing home will most likely have legal representation, which can be difficult to counter if you aren’t a legal professional. A dedicated lawyer will develop a strong legal strategy tailored to your case, which many times can result in larger settlements than a client would receive if they tried to represent themselves. You will get the satisfaction of knowing you held the nursing home responsible. In addition you will have hopefully saved others from becoming a victim to their neglect.
4 Ways To Help Detect Nursing Home Abuse
1. Be Aware of the Basics
Abuse in assisted living facilities is defined as residents being harmed by a caretaker, whether intentionally done or not. 85% of nursing homes polled in 2012 reported having at least one incident of abuse where a caretaker harmed a resident. Making things worse, a study done in 2019 showed that in at least five states the nursing homes weren’t even reporting abuse cases to local law enforcement. If you or a loved one are considering becoming a new resident of an assisted living community, please do research on the facility and consult with a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN.
2. Be Aware of the Laws
Each state has different interpretations of abuse and battery laws. Hiring a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN might be the last resort for a resident who feels they are being wronged by the facility caring for them or by another resident of the facility. An attorney who regularly works with these sorts of abuse cases, such as a lawyer from Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, might be able to offer some guidance with the process and hopefully ensure a fair outcome resulting from a dispute. This sort of attorney probably knows the state laws, the judges and the general nature of the courts that may be involved in a dispute.
3. Be Aware of Reputation
It can’t be stressed enough how important the reputation of a particular assisted living community is. But, how do you know if the reviews you’re reading are correct? What if the facility has addressed previous issues and now they’re much better? It’s getting harder to trust information lately since people are so keen to manipulate the rating systems. Believe it or not, a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN might be able to give you an accurate rating of nursing homes in the area since maybe they’ve dealt with them before. An attorney, such as one from Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC might also show you the best places to look for previous lawsuits against assisted living facilities in your area so you can see if their staff has been known to commit abuse.
4. Be Aware of the Signs
Many cases of abuse and neglect towards elderly residents go unnoticed or unreported for long periods of time. Understanding how abuse can be committed and what signs to look for will be helpful in spotting it as quickly as possible. Educating oneself about abuse and fraud of the elderly along with the guidance from a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN is a great way to become aware of the problem and be able to spot it in other residents.
Don’t wait, call Darrell Castle & Associates today to hire a nursing home lawyer in Memphis, TN that can start helping you.