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Take action with a Colorado Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
The elderly have become the fastest growing segment of the population. The number of individuals who rely on nursing homes and other long term medical facilities for elder care has increased as well. As a result our Colorado nursing home & elder abuse attorneys find many homes violating regulations and nursing home lawyers see many devastating cases of elder neglect, abuse, and injury in Colorado and throughout the country. At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, our legal team of dedicated Colorado elder abuse and neglect lawyers can take action against responsible parties and help protect victims' rights against proper regulations. If you live in the south in Colorado Springs, north in Fort Collins or anywhere in the Denver area in between and you need a Colorado nursing home or elder abuse lawyer, the elder abuse & neglect attorneys of Bachus & Schanker, LLC are here for you.
Recent statistics estimate that between one and two million elderly Americans age 65 or older have been neglected, abused or mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection (Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in an Aging America. 2003. Washington, DC: National Research Council Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect). Furthermore, a report released by the House Government Reform Committee found that approximately 35% of the elderly nursing homes Colorado and in the United States were cited for not upholding regulations resulting in resident neglect or abuse between January 1999 and January 2001. Clearly, a substantial percentage of nursing homes simply do not treat the elderly and infirm members of our society with the respect and dignity they deserve and are promised in nursing home regulations. Our Denver elder abuse lawyers know that this neglect, abuse and mistreatment continue despite the passing of the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 by the Federal Government, which guaranteed important rights and regulations for nursing home residents.
According to nursing home regulations, nursing home neglect includes:
- Failure to assist in personal hygiene
- Failure to provide appropriate food, clothing and shelter
- Failure to provide appropriate medical care
- Failure to prevent or treat malnutrition and dehydration
- Failure to prevent falls
Nursing Home Abuse as outlined in nursing home regulations includes:
- Development of bed sores and ulcers
- Excessive and/or rapid weight loss
- Broken bones and/or unexplained falls
- Open wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts
- Unexplained or unexpected death
- Injuries resulting from restraint or lack of restraint
Colorado Nursing Home Regulations
In Colorado, nursing home administrators are individuals responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the operations of a nursing home by following regulations. The Colorado Nursing Home Administrators Board runs a nursing home administrator-in-training program and is responsible for Colorado nursing home regulations and licensing and discipline of nursing home administrators. In 2004, there were approximately 221 nursing homes in Colorado with close to 17,000 residents. Our nursing home attorneys want everyone who cares about an elder in a nursing home that information about nursing homes or long-term care facilities, including data about neglect, abuse,and injury, can be obtained from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division.
A Colorado nursing home lawyer can assist you with your negligence claim
If you suspect that you or an elderly patient you love has been injured as a result of nursing home negligence or abuse, it is important to immediately document, report the problem and seek legal aid through our experienced lawyers. With this documentation, a nursing home attorney in Denver can help see if you have a case of abuse of neglect from lack of following regulations of nursing homes in the Denver, Colorado area, including Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Put your report of regulation violations in writing, date it, and keep a copy. Remember to include:
- WHO: The name of the victim, including age and address; the name of the facility and the people responsible for the victim's care; the identity of the person who you believe abused or neglected the resident;
- WHAT: The nature and extent of harm and any physical signs of abuse or neglect; any previous incidents; what happened;
- WHERE and WHEN: The place where the incident happened and time and date of the incident.
Make Your Report To:
- The facility's administrator, director of nursing, and social worker
- In Colorado, the Colorado Nursing Home Administrators Board
- The local police or State law enforcement
- A protection and advocacy or adult protective services agency
- A citizen advocacy group or other church or community group that visits regularly
- A Colorado nursing home lawyer
A nursing home attorney in Denver can help you understand Resident Rights under regulation guidelines
Nursing home elderly residents have patient rights and certain protections under the law and you can seek help from a nursing home or elder abuse lawyer in Colorado if you are unsure of the regulations. The nursing home must list and give all new residents a copy of these rights. Resident rights usually include:
- Respect: You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Services and Fees: You must be informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home.
- Money: You have the right to manage your own money or to choose someone else you trust to do this for you.
- Privacy: You have the right to privacy, and to keep and use your personal belongings and property as long as it doesn't interfere with the rights, health, or safety of others.
- Medical Care: You have the right to be informed about your medical condition and medications, and to see you own doctor. You also have the right to refuse medications and treatments.
Nursing Home Checklists
Our nursing home & elder abuse attorneys want you to know that there are a number of factors to consider when selecting a nursing home. The following checklists can help you evaluate the facilities and make an informed decision and follow regulations. Our lawyers advise that it may be helpful to visit the nursing home on several occasions and at different times of the day to get a full sense of administration, staff, and resident interaction. Our attorneys suggest that thorough research of Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Denver area nursing homes can increase the likelihood of selecting a facility that will provide supportive, dedicated care and decrease the chance of Nursing Home Abuse, neglect, or injury.
General nursing home facility questions:
- Is there positive, respectful, and warm interaction among staff and residents?
- Does the facility administrator know the residents and enjoy being with them?
- Do staff members and administration seem to have a peaceful and open relationship?
- Are rooms, hallways, and meal tables clean?
- Do residents look clean, well-groomed, well-fed, and free from bruises?
- Do many residents seem alert? Happy? Peaceful? Comfortable?
- Is the home free of any unpleasant smells?
- Do you notice a quick response to call lights? Verbal requests from residents for assistance?
- Do the meals look appetizing? Are residents eating most of their food? Are staff members patiently feeding residents who need help?
- Are there residents in physical restraints (formal or informal devices that tie residents to beds, chairs, and wheelchairs)? Why?
- Are residents engaged in meaningful and pleasant activities by themselves or with others?
- Are the facilities' grounds safe? Well-maintained? Spacious?
Questions for staff members:
- Does each shift have enough staff to maintain a high-level of care?
- Do staff members enjoy their work?
- What activities are residents involved in?
- Are staff members permanently assigned to residents?
- How much training is given to staff? Is it enough?
- How often are residents who need it assisted with using the restroom or have their disposable briefs changed?
- What approaches does the facility use to prevent use of physical or chemical restraints?
- How are the resident and his or her family involved in care planning?
- What does the facility do to encourage employee retention?
- How long has the current administrator been at the facility?
- Has the facility undergone any recent changes in ownership? Management?
- Does the facility provide transportation to community activities?
- What kind of therapy is available to residents?
- Can you give me an example of how individualized care is given to the residents?
- Is there a resident and/or a family council? Can you talk to members of these councils?
- What happens if someone has a complaint or problem? Are family/staff conferences available to work out a solution?
- Are residents involved in roommate selection?
- Under what circumstances might a resident be transferred to another room or unit or discharged? Is the family/resident able to refuse?
- Does the facility employ a professionally qualified social worker?
Questions for other residents and families:
- Does the facility respect the residents' wishes about their schedule (bedtime, baths, meals)?
- Do residents receive adequate care at night if necessary?
- Does the resident have the same nursing assistant most days?
- Does the resident have a comfortable, positive relationship with the staff?
- Are staff members responsive to resident requests? Do they assist the resident with using the restroom if necessary?
- Are snacks available to residents? Fresh fruit and other healthy choices?
- Do residents participate in care planning? Are their opinions valued?
- Has the resident had missing possessions?
- Who handles resident or family member concerns?
- Does the resident get outside for fresh air or activities as much as he or she wants?
- What is best/worst about living in the home?
Contact a Colorado Elder Abuse Lawyer Today
You or your loved ones don't have to continue to suffer Nursing Home Abuse and violations of regulations. A Colorado Nursing Home Abuse attorney can help you understand your rights. We help get justice for victims of nursing home neglect and abuse.