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Responding to elder abuse and neglect in West Virginia

It is hard for a person to imagine a time when he or she will be the one providing care and/or making medical care decisions for a parent. However, many people in West Virginia are currently facing this reality. In many cases, family members make the decision that the best place for their loved one is in a nursing home or other type of long-term care facility. For these people, it is necessary to be able to recognize and respond appropriately to instances of elder abuse and neglect.

There are many forms of abuse that can occur, including physical, sexual and verbal. Neglect is considered the willful disregard of duty and could involve failing to provide adequate medical care or nutrition or failing to provide a patient with human interaction. All patients in such a facility have certain rights according to federal and/or state law.

If abuse or neglect is suspected, family members often seek to hold those believed responsible fully accountable for their actions. In many cases, this could mean filing a civil lawsuit against the facility. A facility could be held liable under several different scenarios, including failing to adequately supervise employees, negligently screening employees, improperly maintaining the facility and instances of inadequate care and abuse.

Accusations of elder abuse and neglect may result in an investigation and required changes made by the facility. Additionally, adult protective services may become involved. However, family members may also pursue justice by seeking to prove the facility is financially responsible for abusive and negligent treatment. A personal injury lawyer can help victims in West Virginia, as well as their families, better understand their options.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Nursing Home Abuse?", Accessed on July 6, 2016

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