Placing a loved one in the care of a nursing home is sometimes the most difficult decision a family can make. As our population continues to age, the number of nursing home residents has increased dramatically. Unfortunately, this has also resulted in an increase in elder abuse. Recent studies suggest annually up to “2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated” by their caregivers. Many types of abuse can occur in nursing home and assisted living facilities. Abuse can be intentional violence, such as hitting, jerking, scratching or even kicking. Abuse can also include sexual assault. These types of physical abuse can be committed either by staff members or unsupervised residents. Most often, elder abuse comes in the form of neglect, where the staff simply does not pay attention to the needs of the residents. Unfortunately, the neglect often results from the facility being understaffed. In these cases, understaffing usually results from the owners of the nursing home refusing to hire enough staff to take care of the residents. When a nursing home refuses to hire enough staff to take care of their residents, they are placing their own financial well-being ahead of their residents’ physical well-being. Neglect in the nursing home can cause falls, broken bones, serious head injuries, dehydration, malnutrition, medication errors, and pressure ulcers (also known as “bedsores” or “decubitus ulcers”). Neglect can also result in embarrassment and humiliation for unattended residents, who are often left sitting in soiled diapers for extended periods of time. When a nursing home violates your trust and doesn’t fulfill its obligation to care for a loved one, the lawyers at O’Neal & Brown have the expertise, experience and resources to hold the nursing home accountable for their actions. Our attorneys are available for free consultations either over the phone or in person to discuss any problems you or a loved one may have with a nursing home. Often, we are able to offer guidance and assistance to families to ensure a loved one receives the care and treatment they deserve, even when the situation does not require a lawsuit.