A nursing home is a long-term facility that is supposed to be a safe and welcoming place where your elderly loved one can go when you are not able to take care of them.
Even though a nursing home can feel like a last resort, it may be the only place that can give your loved one proper, long-term medical attention.
It’s an unfortunate and sad day when your loved one has symptoms of elder care abuse, and we hope that your loved one does not have to experience this; however, it is a possibility.
Read on to learn commons types of nursing home abuse and what can be done to get justice for your loved one.
NURSING HOME ABUSE VS NEGLECT
Abuse is an intentional infliction, confinement, intimidation, care of service deprivation or punishment that results in physical harm, pain or mental instability.
Neglect is a failure, can be intentional or unintentional, to provide an individual with care and services that are necessary to his or her freedom from harm or pain and/or a failure to react to a dangerous situation, which results in the individual’s harm.
There can be many types and signs of abuse and neglect.
TYPES OF NURSING HOME ABUSE and NEGLECT
Types of abuse and neglect can include:
- Assault (e.g., kicking, slapping, pushing, shaking, beating, as well as verbal and/or emotional abuse)
- Lack of care of medical problems
- Deprivation of food and water
- Sexual assault or battery (e.g., rape, attempted rape, unwanted sexual contact)
- Unnecessary physical restraint or seclusion
- Unnecessary chemical (medication) restraint that is not authorized by a physician
- Financial exploitation
- Psychological abuse
HOW TO IDENTIFY SIGNS OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT
With more than 3.2 million adults residing in nursing homes or assisted care facilities, the statistics for abuse are staggering.
It’s estimated that 1 in 6 nursing home residents fall victim to abuse each year, and those are only the reported cases.
There are many signs of abuse and neglect from nursing home abuse. Sometimes, your loved one may not be able to communicate or may even be afraid to tell you about these.
Abuse and neglect can be physical, mental, emotional and financial.
PHYSICAL ABUSE SIGNS
Your loved one may not be able to tell you about their abuse, but there can be physical signs such as:
- Bed injuries or asphyxiation (choking)
- Dehydration (e.g., cold/hot or unusually dry skin, dry mouth, lightheadedness, repeated infection, stroke and weak or rapid pulse)
- Falls or fractures including head injuries
- Malnutrition (e.g., dull eyes, pale skin, swollen arms/legs, thinning hair and wounds taking longer to heal)
- Bed sores
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Unusual changes in behavior (e.g., not wanting to be touched, asking to be isolated from others, rocking or even biting)
- Unexplained injuries (e.g., wounds, cuts, bruises or welts)
- Unexpected death
MENTAL & EMOTIONAL ABUSE SIGNS
While mental and emotional abuse signs may be harder to identify, you must pay close attention. Signs can include:
- Emotionally upset or agitated (e.g., appearing withdrawn and not communicating)
- Not speaking in front of staff members
- Attempting to hurt others
- Mood swings
- Avoiding eye contact
- Showing signs of low self-esteem
- Seem shy, scared or hopeless
- Self-inflicted injury
Financial abuse is when the caregiver (facility) steals from the patient or manipulates them into giving them money or valuable items. Financial abuse can be carried out in several ways such as:
- Threatening to abandon or harm the resident unless he or she gives the employee what he or she wants
- Refusing to give medical attention to the resident
- Cashing a resident’s checks
- Forging the resident’s signature
- Coercing the resident into signing documents such as a will or contract
I THINK MY LOVED ONE HAS SUFFERED ABUSE. CAN STEALEY LAW & MEDIATION HELP? | PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
Nursing home abuse is important and a very real cause of national concern. Abuse cases can escalate and can cause permanent injury or death of your loved one.
At Stealey Law and Mediation, we aim to get justice to those who otherwise can not obtain justice themselves.
If you’ve noticed signs of abuse at a nursing home that your loved one(s) resides in, please give us a call. These cases need to be addressed immediately and efficiently, while not doing more damage to your loved one.
Through pursuing your loved one’s case, he or she can receive:
- Compensation for medical charge
- Compensations for mental and emotional stress
- Justice against his or her attackers
If a death of a loved one has occurred as a result of nursing home abuse, you could receive:
- Compensation for funeral expenses
- Compensation for loss of inheritance