Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers: Know The Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
Placing a loved one into the care of a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions a family can make. No matter what the circumstances or how plain the need for skilled medical help, there is always a degree of guilt about putting the responsibility for care into somebody else’s hands and the fear of the unknown.
The news today is filled with stories of nursing home residents facing abuse at the hands of those tasked with providing their most basic needs. Nursing home workers are often underpaid, undertrained and overworked, providing a recipe for anger, frustration and apathy. At Perkins Law, we believe that no matter how reputable the facility you’ve chosen for your loved one, it is essential for you to educate yourself about the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect and remain vigilant. You cannot rely upon your loved one to tell you what is happening — in some cases they are incapable of communicating what is happening or may fear retribution, while others may remain stoic, choosing not to burden family members with their problems.
Nursing home abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial, and each has its own signs and warning signals. The most critical indications include:
- Unexplained bruising or bleeding
- Bed sores or cuts
- Burns or scrapes
- Weight loss
- Poor personal hygiene, unchanged sheets, soiled linens and clothes
- Torn or stained clothing, bloody clothing or bedding
In addition to these, family members should also take note of changes in behavior, which an be an indication of intimidation, neglect, or theft:
- Lack of responsiveness
- Fearful behavior and apparent paranoia
- Emotional and physical withdrawal
- Personal items missing
- Unusual financial transactions
The behaviors and indications listed here may represent physical abuse such as assault and battery, forced restraint either through physical means or chemical means (drugging the resident into a state of quiet), and even rape. Emotional abuses that take place in nursing homes take the form of either total neglect in which the resident is left sitting alone for hours, not fed, isolated and disregarded, or active abuse in the form of insults, threats, and humiliation.
It is incumbent upon family and friends to stay alert and on the lookout for any signs and to take quick action if you suspect that something may be wrong. If you see any of the signs listed above, or are visiting with your loved one and find that the staff is acting in an unusual way such as not leaving you alone in the room with the resident or delaying your access to them, this is neither normal nor acceptable and is cause for concern. Disregarding warning signs can put your loved one at risk. At the first inkling of a problem have a discussion with management, and if this does not dispel your worries then it may be time to seek outside help. The dedicated attorneys at Perkins Law are experienced nursing home abuse lawyers who will take immediate action.
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