North Dakota Elder/Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

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If you suspect that someone in a nursing home is in life threatening danger from abuse or neglect, you should not hesitate to call 911 or your local law enforcement agency. If you suspect that abuse may be occurring in a nursing home facility, but that it is not an emergency situation, you should contact the North Dakota Department of Health, or an elder/nursing home abuse attorney in that state, at the soonest opportunity.

Nursing home guidelines and regulations were developed as a part of initiating the Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965. Since then, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have developed a set of guidelines and regulations for nursing homes to follow in providing care for their residents. Those regulations include defining and addressing elder abuse issues.

A nursing home resident is usually at the mercy of his or her caregivers. Abuse occurs whenever another person acts in a willful or reckless manner that has the potential to result in physical injury or death. Sometimes abuse is in the failure to take action to prevent injury or death, such as in the case of neglect. Bruises, bedsores, broken bones, or a sudden decline or change in physical or mental health are signs that a resident may have been a victim of abuse.

The State of North Dakota has laws that prohibit elder abuse. Hitting, punching, slapping, poking, or pinching of a nursing home resident are examples of some types of physical abuse that are against the law. If a resident's private body parts are touched or exposed for the purpose of anyone's sexual gratification, without the resident's expressed and informed consent, then sexual abuse has occurred. Such abuse is a violation of a nursing home resident's rights.

Sometimes abuse comes in the form of threats of punishment, in humiliation, or harassment. The use of verbal, written or gestured messages to convey a negative or belittling message, even if the patient's mental state or disability prevents comprehension, is also abuse. Additionally, a resident may not be prevented from interacting with other residents, or from accessing his or her room except under brief, monitored circumstances. This, too, is a form of mental abuse.

Visible injuries are the type that will be noticed right away. Some examples include bruises, broken bones, cuts, scars, and bed sores. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to report it immediately. Many nursing home facilities have counselors or liaisons who can help you address your concerns with the proper administrators, if you cannot get satisfactory answers from the medical or caregiving team.

Neglect injuries include insufficient food and water, insufficient bathing opportunities, failure to change the resident\'s undergarments in a timely manner, failure to supply personal hygiene products, inattention to medical concerns and failure to assist with the basic functions for the resident.

If you or someone you love has suffered any type of abuse at the hands of another nursing home resident, you should also contact a North Dakota civil lawyer or attorney if you are seeking damages outside of the facility.

Reviews conducted by the State of North Dakota to uncover abuse in nursing homes have proven to be less than adequate. If you suspect that a nursing home or care facility may be violating a patient's rights, it is appropriate to seek help on the behalf of the patient or patients. An elder/nursing home abuse attorney will provide the counsel and, if necessary, take action to ensure the safety and well-being of the nursing home resident.

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