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Common Forms of Nursing Home Abuse in Dothan AL

nursing home abuse attorney in Dothan Alabama

Nursing homes have reached a point of crisis. Aging demographics, industry consolidation, and a tight labor market have contributed to substandard conditions in many of today’s nursing facilities. This has resulted in a vast increase of nursing home neglect and abuse cases. 

Government statistics tell us that at least one in nine Americans over the age of 60 has been the victim of elder abuse. With an expanding elderly population and more than 25,000 nursing home beds in Alabama alone, the risk of abuse or neglect (within these facilities) is growing rapidly with each passing year.

Nursing Home Abuse in Alabama

Let’s look at the various forms of nursing home abuse.

  • Physical Abuse – First of all, abuse presumes that a person in charge of the resident intends to harm him or her. In the worst cases, this can mean striking, holding someone down, putting them in a cold or too hot shower, feeding them unsanitary food, and letting them become dirty and unkept. 

These are intentional acts and display a complete lack of human compassion.

  • Sexual abuse – As hard as it is to imagine, there are workers in nursing homes who perpetrate sexual abuse on our most vulnerable citizens. There are even cases where it is done on a dare and a source of amusement among co-workers. 

This is a violation of basic human decency and demands a response.

  • Medication Errors – We know that errors in medication are responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 Americans every year and we find that the elderly are often getting too little, or too much of a drug. This is one of the first areas of abuse we explore.

  • Neglect – This can take the form of medical neglect. If a resident has diabetes and needs insulin and it is withheld. If the caregiver forgets to move them in bed and it leads to bedsores. If the resident needs someone to hold them or support them while they walk or shower and lets them fall.

Neglect can also take the form of abandonment of a resident providing no social contact, no stimulation from other humans, no chance to go outside and breathe fresh air, and no human kindness.

  • Withholding Basic Needs – This is a form of abuse and certainly constitutes neglect. Is there clean food and water? Is the temperature in the room adequate, not too cold or hot? Is the floor clean and free of slippery substances? Are wheelchairs clean and in good working order? The same goes for walkers. Is the furniture clean and sturdy enough for regular use? Does the facility take care to reduce any infections from spreading?

  • Safety – Although it is not talked about often, residents of nursing homes can also suffer abuse from other residents. That can include emotional or sexual abuse and physical attacks from another resident who is not being adequately monitored.

These are all forms of abuse and neglect, depriving a resident of the basic care they expect, deserve, and have paid for. We find that the for-profit facilities in general devote fewer resources to patient care and providing adequate and competent staff to deal with these potential problems.

Forced Arbitration

If you are considering putting a loved one in a nursing home, please be aware of something called forced arbitration, which is a little-known clause present in many nursing home contracts.

In the fine print, you may see that any conflict with the facility will not be dealt with in a court of law. Instead, by agreeing to arbitration, you will be required to mediate any disputes with a third party. 

Frequently, the arbitrator is one chosen by the nursing home industry and you can bet that the deck is stacked against you, the consumer. That’s exactly the way they want it.

Hire an Experienced Nursing Home Attorney

If you suspect abuse, please take pictures immediately before any evidence disappears.

As experienced nursing home abuse attorneys, Dothan-based Smith & McGhee believe our elderly, who cared for us, should also be cared for lovingly and with dignity and respect. 

We vow to prepare your case for trial uncovering undisputed evidence of abuse and an uncaring facility and staff. We will advocate for you aggressively and vigorously. Please contact us for a confidential and consultation at 334-377-1674.


Alabama Nursing Home Association

Alabama Public Health