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Nursing Home Abuse

Welcome to the Nursing Home Abuse webpage of Epperly & Follis, P.C. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting elderly nursing home residents who are unable to protect themselves. Too often, elderly victims have suffered physical, emotional or financial abuse at the hands of the very institutions and people who are paid to care for them.

The Hidden Crime

Elder abuse has been called the hidden crime because it is often difficult to recognize, it has been concealed by nursing home staff, or the victims may be too frightened or incapacitated to communicate the abuse. An estimated 84 percent of abuse cases go unreported or unrecognized. Nursing home deaths are rarely detected by government inspectors, assessed by medical examiners, or investigated and prosecuted by law enforcement.
Federal and state laws were designed to protect nursing home residents and the abuse or neglect that occurs there and in other assisted living facilities. This abuse is often referred to as "institutional abuse."  Institutional entities where abuse may occur are a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or homes, foster homes, group homes, and board and care facilities. Abusers may be staff members, other patients and even visitors.

Types of Abuse

The Office of the Inspector General has categorized seven types of abuse sustained by the elderly in institutional settings: § Physical abuse - infliction of pain or injury, including sexual abuse.
  • Misuse of restraints - chemical or physical control of resident not in accordance with accepted medical practice or orders.
  • Verbal/emotional abuse -demeaning statements, harassment, threats, humiliation or intimidation.
  • Physical neglect - disregard for the necessities of daily living such as food, water, bathing and basic care.
  • Medical neglect - lack of care for existing medical problems such as ignoring a necessary medical diet, not calling a physician when necessary, being unaware of potential side effects of medication or not taking action on a medical problem.
  • Verbal/emotional neglect - not meeting the patients' verbal/emotional needs including disregarding patients' wishes, or restricting contact with family and friends.
  • Personal property abuse - illegal or improper use of a resident's property (funds, property, assets) by another for personal gain.
Epperly & Follis  |  Nursing Home Abuse

Responsibility for Care

To participate in federally reimbursed Medicare and Medicaid programs, nursing homes must comply with the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) which specifies adherence to certain requirements for quality of care. The NHRA states that a participating nursing home "must provide services and activities to attain and maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care…" Most states have addressed the institutional abuse issue with laws that require doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to report suspected neglect to a designated state office. Laws further require nursing homes to investigate and report any abuse incidents that occur within their facility. Physicians, hospitals, nurses, therapists, aides, orderlies and administrators must provide adequate care, medical treatment and protection to the residents and patients in their facility.

The Credentials to Help

Only an experienced nursing home abuse and malpractice attorney can help punish those responsible for perpetrating crimes against the dependent elderly. Epperly & Follis, P.C nursing home abuse attorneys know the law, the legal system and victim rights. Our firm handles personal injury cases against major defendants such as nursing homes, hospitals, insurance companies, product manufacturers, corporations and municipalities.
We do not approach our cases as mere jobs, but as causes in which larger issues are at stake - causes in which the firm's lawyers invest personal dedication to see that justice is done. If you believe that a loved one has suffered abuse, neglect or death because of a nursing home, our lawyers can help you take action against this reprehensible violation of trust. We can provide you with strategies to successfully prosecute the guilty and improve the quality of your loved one's care through financial restitution. If someone you love has been abused, injured or died in a nursing home or assisted living facility, call Epperly & Follis, P.C today at 1-888-703-0109 or 804-648-6480, or contact us via our online Contact Form.