We put our trust in nursing homes and assisted living facilities to care for our loved ones. But unfortunately, some nursing facilities violate that trust, then do everything possible to cover up evidence of abuse and neglect.
Nursing homes that don't properly care for their residents must be held accountable, but facilities often go to great lengths to run from that accountability. Families have recourse through the civil justice system, and an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help them obtain justice.
Here are a few common strategies nursing homes use to hide signs of abuse and neglect.
Not reporting or documenting the abuse.
There are laws protecting nursing home residents, yet some facilities don't follow them. For instance, nursing homes must report signs or suspicions of resident abuse or neglect, yet many choose not to.
Some staff and administrators may worry about the consequences if they report the abuse. Staff may also fear retaliation or termination, and administrators may worry such reports could tarnish the facility's reputation.
A staff member may also not properly document physical changes to the resident and their environment. Intentionally refusing to document the following is another way to hide abuse:
- The presence of physical injuries such as fractures, cuts, burns, or bruises.
- Serious medical conditions like bedsores and sepsis.
- Malnutrition, dehydration, and significant weight loss.
- Changes in a resident's mood, personality, and emotions.
- Any incident that results in an injury, such as a slip and fall or an attack by another resident.
Lying about the abuse.
Along with not reporting abuse, staff members may lie to cover up neglect. For example, they may say a resident was injured in an accidental slip and fall when the resident got hurt because they were left unattended and fell.
Staff may also try to cover up and hide an injury. For instance, if a resident is injured, the facility may isolate them from other residents and try to hide any physical evidence of the abuse by covering up noticeable bruises, scratches, and cuts.
Another common method nursing homes use to cover up abuse and neglect is falsifying records. The facilities may order the staff to falsify documents. These records can be changed, edited, backdated, or fabricated.
Experienced legal representation makes a difference.
If you suspect your loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence, it's in your best interest to talk to a lawyer about your legal rights and options. There are many ways to hide evidence of abuse or neglect in a nursing facility, so the sooner you get an attorney involved, the better.
At Kurle Justus, LLC, our attorneys are passionate advocates who offer powerful legal representation to victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Let us be your voice for justice.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney from our law office in Decatur, Georgia.