Nursing home residents may feel too intimidated or uncomfortable to report abuse from caregivers or staff members. Furthermore, residents who are suffering from certain mental health conditions may be incapable of recognizing or reporting abuse. As a result, nursing home abuse can go unnoticed and continue if no one spots the subtle signs.
As a family member, it is important to learn how to spot the signs that your relative in a nursing home is being abused. If you believe your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
HOW COMMON IS NURSING HOME ABUSE AND NEGLECT?
It’s estimated that one out of ten nursing home residents has experienced some form of neglect or abuse. If you believe your loved one is being abused or neglected, you should move your them out of the facility as soon as possible. Then, talk to an attorney to discuss what steps you should take to protect your rights.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF NURSING HOME NEGLECT?
There are certain things you should look for to determine if your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home. Some of the signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Failure to administer medication
- Dirty bedding, untidy sleeping areas, or malfunctioning utilities
These are all signs that your loved one is not getting the attention they deserve. Their daily needs are not being met, which means they are being neglected.
In many cases, neglect occurs as a result of understaffing at the nursing home facility. If the nursing home is understaffed, there are simply not enough people to care for the residents in the facility. But, your loved ones should not have to suffer just because the facility is understaffed.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF NURSING HOME ABUSE?
There are several different types of abuse, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Some of the signs of physical abuse include:
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Hair loss
Sexual abuse is a growing concern in nursing homes. Some of the signs of sexual abuse include:
- Torn clothing
- Pelvic injuries
- Developing a sexually transmitted disease
- Pain when sitting or walking
The signs of physical and sexual abuse are often visible, but the signs of emotional abuse are much harder to spot. This is because the signs of emotional abuse are mainly subtle changes in the nursing home resident’s behavior.
Some of the most common signs of emotional abuse include:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Making negative comments about themselves
- Isolating themselves socially
- Appearing disturbed or scared
- Mood swings
- Changes to normal eating or sleeping patterns
You should pay close attention to your loved one’s behavior to see if they appear to act differently in front of a specific staff member. This could indicate that this staff member is the one who is emotionally abusing your loved one.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION?
Sadly, employees may use the declining mental abilities of residents in a nursing home to their financial advantage. Many nursing home residents are lonely, isolated, and unfamiliar with technology that makes it easier for them to manage their finances. These unique characteristics makes nursing home residents ideal targets for financial exploitation.
Some of the signs of financial exploitation include:
- Canceled checks
- Sizable withdrawals or transfers from the victim’s bank accounts
- Missing belongings
- New legal documents, including wills and powers of attorney
- Forged signatures on checks
- Someone else–like an employee at a nursing home–suddenly managing the victim’s finances
Pay attention to your loved one’s finances so you can spot the signs of financial exploitation as soon as possible. Make sure to check your loved one’s room when you visit to verify that no valuable items are missing. If you spot any of the signs of financial exploitation, take action quickly to protect your loved one.
PROTECT YOUR LOVED ONES FROM NURSING HOME ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Every nursing home resident has certain rights that must be protected. But sadly, these rights are often violated by the employees at nursing home facilities. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents are unable or too fearful to report nursing home abuse or neglect. This is why so many cases of abuse and neglect in nursing homes go unreported.
Don’t let this happen to your loved one. If you believe your loved one is being abused or neglected, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.