Choosing to place a family member in a nursing home facility is a difficult decision, often accompanied by feelings of guilt or shame. The fact that loved ones may be at their most vulnerable can make the decision even more difficult. When you trust these professionals to care for a loved one, and they betray that trust, it can be devastating.

Unfortunately, there can be very little accountability for nursing home injury, abuse, neglect, and inadequate care. Nursing homes are businesses, and they worry about their bottom line, protecting themselves from lawsuits and guarding their reputations. Therefore, they may not be forthcoming with evidence of injury, abuse, neglect, and inadequate care. When suffering from dementia, residents may be unable to express symptoms clearly or present with generalized confusion, making it difficult to determine what is occurring or has occurred. Careless or abusive staff members may be able to move from facility to facility with no repercussions.

A Litchfield nursing home injury lawyer at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, can help you break that pattern. We can help you file a claim against those who harmed your loved one, helping you get the compensation you deserve for negligent care or abuse. These claims may also help discipline careless and abusive providers, protecting future residents from the same type of treatment. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and caring injury attorneys.

Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Connecticut General Statutes § 19a-550 describes the rights of a nursing home patient. Under these rules, the institution and its employees should treat every resident with dignity and respect. They should also provide autonomy to accept or reject medical care, honor financial freedom, and maintain a safe and clean environment. Numerous state and federal regulations govern the care that must be provided at nursing homes. For example, the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 which was part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or OBRA for short. The Nursing Home Reform Act guarantees residents:

  • Privacy and dignity
  • Involvement in care plan reviews
  • Participation in resident and family groups
  • Freedom from abuse, neglect, and restraints
  • Accommodation of medical and social needs
  • Self-determination and communication rights
  • The ability to voice concerns without discrimination

The business of running a nursing home can conflict with respecting these rights. However, business should never lead to the type of serious injuries that some nursing home residents experience, including:

Pressure Sores

Pressure sores are common injuries that can happen from prolonged pressure on the skin. Anyone with limited mobility is at risk for pressure sores, also known as bed sores. Frequently moving someone can prevent pressure sore formation, as these injuries develop in stages. Once they become open wounds, the skin can start to die and eventually reach into deeper layers—including fat, muscle, and bone. In later stages, people can develop bone infections or sepsis, which can lead to severe complications or even death. 

Most pressure sores are not inevitable or unavoidable. Frequent position changes, using pillows and other pressure-relieving products, and keeping skin clean and dry can all reduce the risk of sores. Plus, a facility should get prompt medical attention for anyone who develops a pressure sore. Failure to do so may be additional proof of neglect.

Fall Injuries

Many older adults are at an increased risk of falling. Balance issues can impact their ability to remain upright. Medications can cause side effects like dizziness, which can be dangerous. Dementia can lead to decreased safety awareness and an inability to follow instructions to use a call bell for assistance. Plus, fall injuries can be more serious for the aged. Brittle, older bones are more likely to break, so fall injuries can lead to broken hips, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and more. If negligence or abuse led to the fall, the facility or caregivers should be responsible for the resulting injuries.


Elderly people may be at an increased risk of dehydration. They may not have the energy to consume enough liquids, have swallowing difficulties, limited mobility, and restrictions in movement or dementia, all of which can lead to insufficient fluid intake. More severe oral fluid intake may need to be supplemented with IV liquids. Dehydration can lead to a range of problems, and one of the most serious ones is a urinary tract infection (UTI). These infections can lead to serious complications, progressing through the body and even becoming life-threatening. They can also be extremely painful. If dehydration contributed to a loved one’s condition, the facility may be responsible for any complications, including pain and suffering.


Older adults are at an increased risk of choking injuries and death. In fact, choking is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and it disproportionately impacts the elderly. Nursing facilities should assess residents to determine if they are a choking risk and, if so, establish protocols to prevent those injuries.

Larger food size, incorrect dietary meal preparation, rushed mealtimes, oversized medication, and failure to supervise can all lead to choking. Inadequate dietary and choking protocols can lead to catastrophic injuries or death.

Our team of Litchfield nursing home abuse attorneys has fought for those harmed at the hands of nursing home staff for decades. We understand the heartache and injuries this form of betrayal can inflict on families. Contact us for more information about nursing home abuse and your legal rights.

What Can I Do If a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility Has Harmed My Loved One?

If you suspect nursing home abuse but your loved one has not experienced a serious injury, you have some remedies. You can speak to the facility’s administrator or report the facility or providers to an oversight agency such as the Connecticut Department of Public Health or the Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsperson Program. If the circumstances warrant, you may call the police for suspected criminal misconduct. You also have the option of transferring your loved one to a different long-term care facility.

If abuse or neglect has led to a serious injury or death, you may need the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer in Litchfield. The experienced nursing home attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC can assist you by filing a lawsuit against the negligent doctor, nurse, caretaker, or facility.

The Litchfield Lawyers at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, Can Help You Fight Against Abuse at a Nursing Home

Discovering that someone seriously abused a vulnerable older family member is devastating. Getting justice for your family member can be a way to begin the healing process, get deserved compensation for injuries or death, and help prevent others from suffering the same type of abuse. We can help you take this rightful, just, and empowering first step.

Reach out to a Litchfield nursing home abuse lawyer at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, to schedule a free, in-person or remote, confidential consultation. We care deeply about protecting the elderly from harm and holding those at fault accountable for their actions. And we have been doing this for decades for people just like you.