Mississippi Nursing Home Abuse

The decision to place an elderly loved one in a long-term care facility or nursing home is never easy. Unfortunately, the decision can also be a dangerous one - with rising reports of Mississippi nursing home abuse, it is important to exercise great care with elderly patients who may be more vulnerable to physical, sexual, and even financial assaults.

How to Choose a Good Nursing Home

There are over 13,000 residents in Mississippi's nursing homes. While there are some nursing homes that are clean and professionally run, nursing homes in general can be a hotbed for abuse. Short staffing, low budgets and the relative frailty of nursing home residents can all lead to resident injuries and distress. Unscrupulous workers may steal an elderly patient's identity, neglect the patient or even subject them to harrowing verbal or physical assaults. If you are considering placing an elderly relative in a Mississippi home, it is strongly recommended that you tour the facility yourself. Speak to residents and take note of their hygiene and cleanliness; also make sure to look at the comfort and condition of the facility itself. Medicare requires that a copy of the facility's latest state survey is present at the facility; you may wish to look this survey over to assess whether the facility is a good fit for your relative.

Signs of Abuse

Unfortunately, Mississippi nursing home abuse is hard to detect because elderly victims often are incapable or unwilling to speak out about their abuse or report their symptoms. When you visit your relative, be on the lookout for signs of nursing home abuse. These can include a sudden withdrawal of the patient, bedsores or open wounds, bruises or scratches, poor personal hygiene, weakness or malnutrition, dehydration or infection, or signs of neglect, such as skipped medication, unemptied waste containers or unexplained weight loss.

Regulation of Nursing Homes

Not only are Mississippi nursing homes covered under state and federal laws, they have an obligation to protect the rights of elderly residents as laid out under the Nursing Home Reform Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. These rights include participation in care, access to information, privacy and confidentiality, ability to make choices, dignity and freedom (including lack of physical restraints), security and the right to air grievances and concerns. If you feel your family member's rights are being violated, do not hesitate to approach the appropriate authorities. A Mississippi nursing home abuse investigation can lead to loss of licensure for a nursing home facility that fails to comply with basic laws and standards of care for patient's rights.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse

If you suspect Mississippi nursing home abuse, report your suspicions immediately to a law enforcement official. You will also wish to contact various Mississippi agencies such as the Mississippi Department of Health, Mississippi Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Mississippi Department of Human Services, and/or the Attorney General's Vulnerable Adult Unit. Then get in touch with an experienced Mississippi nursing home abuse lawyer. Your Mississippi nursing home abuse attorney can help you file civil and/or criminal suits against the perpetrator of the abuse and help your loved one recover financial damages for pain and suffering, medical treatment, future medical care and the recovery of other losses.

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