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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Last month, six different Connecticut nursing homes were fined over incidents that involved abuse. Residents were subjected to physical abuse, broken limbs, and one case of dehydration that was so severe that the resident died. With the newspapers reporting these horrific stories from all around the country on a regular basis, it is no wonder that so many adult children and loved ones of those who have been placed in long term care can’t sleep at night. The mere thought of something like that happening sends a chill down the spine and makes us all too aware of the extreme vulnerability of our family members and friends, who are often either unable or too afraid to speak for themselves.

The good news is that there are concrete steps you can take and red flags that you can look out for to help protect your loved one. The attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers represent those who have been the victims of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect in nursing home environments, and we have learned that there are specific signs of nursing home abuse that you should be on the lookout for. These include:

  •  Physical pain, injury or impairment of the resident such as may have been caused by the use of force. It is also important to look for signs that any type of restraints have been used, whether physical restraints that leave marks on the wrists or ankles, restraint through medical means such as being heavily drugged, or being kept in confinement.
  • When residents of a nursing home are subjected to emotional abuse they are treated in a way that causes them humiliation, embarrassment, or emotional pain. This can include being yelled at or threatened, ridiculed, or made to feel that they are responsible for others unhappiness. When a nursing home resident is treated in this way it often becomes apparent through their fearfulness or withdrawal.
  • Sexual abuse of nursing home residents happens all too frequently, and can include direct sexual content or indirect content in which they are forced to look at pornography or to watch others engage in sexual acts. Signs can include bleeding, bruising or tearing of the genitals or breasts, sexually transmitted diseases, torn or bloody sheets and withdrawal.
  • Neglect happens all too frequently in nursing homes that are understaffed or whose staff members have been poorly trained. Residents may not be fed or provided with water, may not be provided with the medication that they need, or may simply be left alone and deserted in a public place within the home, without attention or compassionate treatment. Hygiene may be ignored, clothes unwashed, and room conditions are often a mess. The signs of this are often withdrawal and regression, as well as dehydration and malnutrition.

When you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, it is important that you act quickly to report it in order to prevent the abuse from continuing. The attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help you through this process, ensuring that your loved one is removed to a safe environment and that they are provided with the compensation that they need to recover from the abuse and to ensure that they get justice.