Filing a Lawsuit Against a Roanoke Nursing Home? Our Virginia Attorneys Can Help
At Senior Justice Law Firm, nursing home negligence cases are our law firm’s focus.
Call our Virginia nursing home abuse law firm now at 757-530-4255 or live chat with our office now for your free case consultation. We are here to help your family after an injury or death inside a Roanoke Valley area nursing home.
Why Roanoke Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Occurs
Like many nursing homes across the United States, the facilities in Roanoke struggle to care for residents in the ways that they need and deserve. In large part, this issue is caused by understaffing, because for-profit nursing homes try to pack as many people into a facility as possible for maximum revenue. As a result, staff are forced to attend to upwards of 30 patients each, when their best care is achieved when they are responsible for no more than four people. Additionally, unqualified and under-trained staff are used to keep costs low.
This perpetual focus on profits before people is the most common cause of nursing home injuries in Virginia facilities.
Recognizing Nursing Home Neglect Injuries
Sometimes, injury to a resident occurs through intentional actions taken by staff, such as hitting or withholding food or medicine. Most of the time, the abuse results from negligence, where staff accidentally do not provide adequate care due to time constraints, poor documentation, or other reasons. Regardless of whether your loved one was abused intentionally or negligently, the nursing home is still responsible for the behavior.
If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect at a nursing home in Roanoke, it is important to pay attention for potential indicators of poor care. These can vary by facility and individual, but some of the most common and consistent include the following ‘red flag injuries’.
Bedsores in Roanoke Nursing Homes
If you are looking for clear-cut signs of negligence and abuse in a nursing home, one thing you should definitely keep an eye out for is bedsores. These ulcer-like lesions are some of the most incriminating pieces of evidence for abuse, since they never occur for any medical reason other than neglect. Bed sores develop on parts of the body that are under pressure for long periods of time. Most commonly, this occurs when a resident is lying down and, due to mobility issues or other considerations, does not move for hours. Areas like the tailbone, elbows, and shoulders bear the brunt of the resident’s weight and can degrade.
Bed sores are simple to prevent; staff need only shift residents in their beds every few hours. However, it is easy to see how overworked nurses may not find the time to do this. Left without treatment, bedsores can continue to worsen until the reach the bone, leaving residents vulnerable to severe and potentially even fatal conditions such as MRSA and sepsis.
Falls Resulting in Broken Bones
When it comes to common causes for injury as a result of neglect, few things are more frequent than falls. It is the responsibility of a nursing home to assess each individual resident for fall risk and do everything in their power to prevent falls; they might do their due diligence by removing trip hazards, keeping floors dry and free of slippery liquids, and putting residents in beds that are difficult to accidentally roll out of. When nursing homes fail to do these things, they are responsible for injuries sustained during falls.
A number of unexplained injuries that you might notice on your loved one are likely caused by falls. Broken bones and brain bleeds (called subdural hematomas) are just a few possibilities. While it is true that some falls are genuinely accidental and nothing could have been done to prevent them, a nursing home that is appropriately caring for its residents can mitigate the number of falls in its facilities by being diligent about hazards.
Nutritional Deficiencies and Failure to Follow Dietary Needs
You may not imagine it, but choking and things “going down the wrong pipe” (aspiration pneumonia) are two of the most dangerous things that can happen to your loved one at a nursing home. Overworked staff often do not have enough time to spare to sit with your loved one while they eat, and a combination of medications and mobility issues can make consuming food and drinks challenging and even dangerous.
Similarly, staff who do not have time to sit with residents during meals may be leaving them to fend for themselves. If a resident has severe arthritis or slight paralysis that can make picking up a glass or holding a fork difficult, they may need assistance during meals that they are not receiving. Over time, their inability to feed themselves sufficiently will cause malnutrition, dehydration, and potentially even death.
Physical and Sexual Abuse in Roanoke Facilities
The staff at a nursing home are supposed to care for your loved one, but unfortunately, both physical and sexual abuse can occur. Staff who are pushed past their limits dealing with confused or confrontational residents may lash out; this is never acceptable for any reason, but it does occasionally happen.
Other residents can pose similar issues. Older folks who lose track of where they are or the people they know can become aggressive or behave in uncharacteristic ways, leading to assault on their neighboring residents. It is up to the nursing home to curb this behavior and keep everyone safe, so failing to do so leaves them liable for claims of abuse and negligence.
Why Bring a Roanoke Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit?
Even the best Roanoke nursing homes are not immune to claims of abuse and neglect, because humans make mistakes—including failing to provide adequate care. Still, if you are faced with the prospect of taking legal action against a nursing home, you may feel like the entire endeavor is pointless. No amount of monetary damages will ever remove the pain and suffering that your loved one experienced at the abusive facility.
Remember, though, that the vast majority of nursing homes are run by for-profit entities. By seeking monetary damages, you have immense power to effect long-lasting change at their facilities. They are seeking primarily to boost their profits, and having to pay out a settlement as a result of an abuse case is the last thing they want—and in order to avoid it, they will often change or improve their practices so that they can keep their profits in the future. You can play a beneficial role in improving the lives of other residents by seeking a lawsuit in your case.
Roanoke is Home to an Increasingly Large Amount of Skilled Nursing Facilities
Southwest Virginia, with its fair weather, beautiful natural outings, and historic sites, remains one of the most visited area in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It should come as no surprise, then, that many older folks are flocking to Roanoke to retire. Roanoke has also seen some of this influx, and as a result, the number of nursing homes in the area has increased in recent years.
Most people assume that since a much greater demand is being put on elder care services due to this population boost, Roanoke would have become an expert in handling the treatment of seniors requiring assistance and supervision in long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, the city has yet to catch up to an adequate standard of treatment, which means that many Roanoke nursing homes still fall short of sufficiently good care.
This is the underlying purpose of our law firm; to hold negligent facilities accountable for the damage they have caused. While it is true that no amount of money will undo the harm done, a large Roanoke nursing home settlement will deter the facility from neglecting future residents.
Roanoke Nursing Homes are Below Average
Older folks in Roanoke have no shortage of activities to keep them busy if they so choose. Nature lovers flock to Mill Mountain Park, the Roanoke Valley Greenways, and Carvins Cove Natural Reserve for quiet outdoor paths and scenic views. Those more interested in local history can enjoy the Taubman Museum of Art and Virginia Museum of Transportation. And for those who would rather keep to the indoors, the always increasing number of nursing homes have you covered.
In fact, there are 19 nursing homes within the 25 miles surrounding Roanoke and its metro sprawl. Unfortunately, less than half manage to achieve scores that even cross the Average threshold in their government mandated inspections. Many barely pass with a 1 out of 5, or Much Below Average. While the poor rating does not necessarily guarantee that your loved one is being mistreated, ratings are a good indicator of the quality of a nursing home overall.
Nursing Homes in Roanoke:
|There are 19 nursing homes in Roanoke and the surrounding 25 mile area, and more than half have not exceeded an Average rating on their inspections mandated by the government. Homes with higher ratings are not immune to abusive or negligent treatment, and similarly, poorly reviewed homes are not a guarantee of poor treatment. Still, it is important to be aware of the facilities that did not score well, which include (but are not limited to):
Roanoke Nursing Home News
Roanoke is not alone in its poor performance when it comes to nursing home care; the entire state of Virginia continues to struggle to adequately address patient needs and provide sufficient attention and treatment. Facilities state-wide have seen fines exceeding five million dollars over the last few years, and local news source WTKR reports that the staff and nurses who work for these facilities are increasingly frustrated with the unreasonable standards they are held to. “Long-term care professionals who are dedicated to their jobs and compassionate to their patients say they struggle to keep going in an industry that often does not hire enough staff for its facilities and underpays its staff,” they noted in an interview.
Many of the fines levied against nursing homes in Virginia have centered around their inability to “1) hire only people with no legal history of abusing, neglecting or mistreating residents, or 2) report and investigate any acts or reports of abuse, neglect or mistreatment of residents.” This trend continues in Roanoke as well, given the well below average scores of the majority of its facilities.
Free Consultation for Roanoke Elder Abuse Lawsuits
If you are ready to seek the justice that you deserve for your loved one’s nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be feeling overwhelmed at what to do next. Senior Justice Law Firm would be happy to ease this burden and guide you through your next steps.
We are lawyers who focus solely on nursing home abuse cases, so we have the experience and tools needed to represent you thoroughly so that you have the best chance possible for a positive outcome. Reach out to Senior Justice to discuss your situation; we would be glad to speak with you free of charge to strategize about your options and which path may be the most beneficial for you. Additionally, it is worth noting that we work on contingency fee only. This means we get paid as a percentage of the total amount of the settlement or judgment and we do not require out of pocket payment from you for attorneys fees or costs.
Speak with a Roanoke Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Now, For Free
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If you suspect that your family member was abused or neglected in a Roanoke nursing home, reach out to Senior Justice Law Firm at 757-530-4255.