When a family makes the difficult decision to put their elderly family member into a nursing home, it is often based on the hope that their loved one will receive a higher quality of care than the family may be able to provide on their own.
However, many families are faced with the unfortunate reality that some nursing home facilities and staff fall far below such expectations. If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to quickly identify the signs and then alert the facility manager and law enforcement of your concerns.
While it may be devastating to consider that your loved one may be the victim of abuse, the only sure way to defend your loved one is to be vigilant and to take action against the perpetrators with the help of the right legal team.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
How to Know if Your Loved One is Suffering
- Physical Abuse – Regularly visit your loved one and observe if they exhibit any injuries such as scrapes, bruises, fractures, or marks on their arms or legs from being restrained. Also, notice whether or not your loved one seems to be overly medicated. A staff member might improperly administer medication in order to render their patient passive or even block out memories of abuse. The gross negligence or carelessness behind over-medicating a patient could easily lead to other physical and mental injuries.
- Emotional Abuse – Pay close attention to your loved one’s behavior every time you visit. Do they seem agitated, withdrawn, depressed, or anxious? Ask them how they are being treated particularly when no staff members are around to dissuade your loved one from speaking openly. If any member of the staff humiliates, intimidates, threatens, or insults your loved one, it is considered emotional abuse, which is also criminally and civilly negligent.
- Neglect – If the nursing home fails to provide a consistent quality of care, your loved one may suffer injury or illness as a result of neglect. Does the staff regularly change their patients’ sheets and bedding? Do they offer clean clothing and shelter? Does your loved one receive proper nutrition, hydration, and medication on a daily basis? If the staff overlooks their duties, your loved one could develop bedsores from being left in the same position for long periods of time.
- Sexual Abuse – Unwanted sexual contact or activities, such as touching, sexual assault, rape, or being forced to undress can have a profoundly negative impact on the victim’s quality of life. Symptoms of senior sexual abuse can include distrustful behavior, refusing to eat or drink, self-loathing, or chronic depression. Pay particular attention if your loved one should suffer any unexplained genital infections or injuries.
- Financial Abuse – Many nursing homes help seniors manage their financial affairs, but if you suspect the staff is taking advantage and misusing your loved one’s savings, inspect your loved one’s bank accounts and financial documents. Have there been any sudden, unexplained changes to your loved one’s will or trust? Have large amounts of money been withdrawn from their bank account? Elder financial abuse can go on subtly for years, especially because the victim believes that they can trust the abuser. The signs may be difficult to identify, but it is important to protect your loved one’s interests, particularly when they might not be able to protect themselves.
Help is Available – Contacting Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of nursing home abuse, do not hesitate to contact law enforcement and an experienced elder abuse legal team.. The attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. will be able to immediately begin investigation into your case. The nursing home facility and staff are liable for any abuse or injury that your loved one has suffered. Our firm has the expertise to win the compensation you and your loved one deserve.