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Missoula Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Missoula Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Unfortunately, there are times when you have to decide to place a loved one in a nursing home. While you may want to care for them by yourself, their needs require specialized care. Many families grapple with these situations. So, when you choose a facility, you expect them to receive the best care, but sometimes, that’s not the case.

Sometimes, the person who you trust to care for a loved one is the same individual abusing them.

Nursing home abuse is an unfortunate aspect of residential care. When it happens to your loved one, you want to hold those caretakers and their employers accountable for these egregious actions.

If you have discovered that your loved one has suffered abuse at the hands of a worker or another resident in an assisted care facility, you have legal options. And a Missoula nursing home abuse lawyer can put you on the right path.

At Western Justice Associates, PLLC, we know the heartbreaking reality of finding out that your family member has been abused. We offer compassionate legal support during these sensitive times to help you get through these difficult times.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Missoula Care Facilities

In 2020, over 4,500 Montana residents were victims of elder abuse. This number includes cases of neglect, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and financial exploitation (MDPHHS). When an individual resides in an assisted care facility, they may be vulnerable to these forms of abuse. Here are some key indicators:

Physical Injuries

Abuse in care facilities often develops into physical symptoms. Many times, a loved one will have unexplained bruises, cuts, or fractures. Sometimes, there is bruising in areas that are not prone to injuries. All family members must be vigilant about open wounds, scratches, or lacerations. Unaccounted-for injuries should always raise concern.


Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are a common sign of neglect or abuse in care facilities. They can be caused by various factors, especially if a resident is not repositioned frequently enough. Bedsores can also form when someone lacks adequate support while lying down or sitting.

You will usually find bed sores on the ankles, hips, heels, tailbone, and back. They can result in redness, skin discoloration, or even open wounds. If left untreated, they can become infected.

Neglect of Personal Hygiene

An unkempt appearance in the resident could be a sign of nursing home abuse. Often, these individuals live in unsanitary conditions. In the most serious cases, some residents might even be forced to remain in soiled clothes or sleep in dirty bed linens.

Poor hygiene can turn into a range of health concerns, such as respiratory and skin infections. Sometimes, these issues are the result of inadequate training or staff resources. However, these cases all indicate a complete disregard for the resident’s dignity.

Emotional Changes

Emotional changes, such as fear, depression, and social withdrawal, could be another sign of abuse. Symptoms may include isolation from friends and family or anxiety around certain staff members.

Often, there is a noticeable hesitation to be alone with their caretakers. You might notice a few changes in their normal behavior, such as different eating habits, sleeping patterns, and mood. Many times, the resident may be excessively aggressive or agitated. While some emotional changes could be attributed to health issues, these conditions often develop without apparent medical cause.

Unexplained Weight Fluctuations

Sudden weight loss is a frequent sign of nursing home neglect or abuse. When residents are not provided with sufficient food or eat meals according to their specific dietary needs, it can result in malnutrition. This lack of food or water often develops into a significant weight loss in the resident. Unexplained weight changes can be serious and could lead to serious health problems.

Financial Irregularities

An abrupt change in a resident’s financial status can be an indication of financial mistreatment or exploitation in a care home. This type of abuse can be carried out by staff, relatives, or even unknown individuals. These problems can be challenging to identify. You might see large withdrawals from the resident’s bank account or modifications to the resident’s will or power of attorney.

Financial abuse can lead to serious repercussions for the resident, including loss of assets, exhaustion of their financial resources, and, in severe cases, homelessness.

What Should You Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

Often, the abuse visit will feel shame or guilt over the incident. They may feel as if they are responsible for the abuse. However, that is never the case. Instead, a worker or another resident was the one who preyed upon the vulnerabilities of the victim.

Sometimes, you will need to determine whether your loved one has suffered abuse. Here are a few steps to take if you suspect nursing home abuse:

  • Assess their situation: Not all physical injuries or changes in behavior are the result of abuse. Sometimes, a person’s health conditions can change. You will need to assess the severity of the situation. If the person is in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.
  • Document all evidence: If you believe there is any abuse, take photographs of injuries or unsafe conditions and make notes of any incidents or suspicious behavior.
  • Report to your local authorities: In Montana, you can contact your local Adult Protective Services (APS) or the facility’s ombudsperson. Make sure you provide them with all the information and evidence you have collected.
  • Consult a legal professional: If the facility and its workers were negligent in their actions (or inactions), you may be able to file a lawsuit. Reach out to a Missoula nursing home abuse lawyer to get guidance on the next steps to take, which could include filing a lawsuit against the nursing home. You can potentially sue for:
    • Medical bills, including hospital costs, physical therapy, and mental health counseling
    • Fruit healthcare costs
    • Emotional suffering
    • Relocation costs
    • Lost wages (for family members to care for their loved ones)
    • Funeral and burial expenses

If you have questions about the legal options for your loved one’s case, make sure to contact a seed Missoula nursing home abuse lawyer.

Find Out About Your Legal Options

Discovering that your loved one has been abused is a heart-wrenching experience. While you cannot take away the physical and emotional scars of these incidents, you can take the next steps to seek justice.

At Western Justice Associates, PLLC, we have a team of compassionate attorneys ready to help with your claim.

Contact the office to speak with one of our Missoula nursing home abuse lawyers.

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