Nursing Home Abuse Warning Signs
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Francis V. Cristiano with Cristiano Law, LLC.
Cases of nursing home abuse and neglect are more common than you might think. According to NursingHomeAbuse.org, as many as 5,000,000 elderly people suffer abuse every year. Sometimes it happens in the home; other times, it happens at nursing care facilities. All the time, the case should be reported with the assistance of a qualified attorney at your side; but the truth is a lot of these cases often go unnoticed. The reason? Many don’t see the warning signs. Many are not even looking for them. They assume the establishment meets the highest standard of care, when in fact many facilities fall short of the expectation and commit wrongdoing. Since the elderly often don’t speak up about this, you need to be on the lookout for nursing home abuse warning signs.
Nursing Home Abuse Warning Signs
Watch for any unexplained broken bones, dislocations or sprains. Any bruising or scars may indicate of nursing home abuse. See if your elderly loved one is, in fact, taking medications appropriately. Broken eyeglasses and signs of restraint may be a clear case of abuse. More importantly, if the caregiver doesn’t even allow you to be alone with the elderly person, you may want to investigate.
A bit tougher to spot, but if you catch some of the markers, that’s ample evidence for concern. Unusual behavior, such as rocking, thumb sucking, and mumbling can often be signs of emotional abuse, especially if your loved one doesn’t have dementia. If witness any berating, belittling, controlling or threatening behavior from the caregiver, consult an attorney. Watch for any major emotional shifts in your loved one's temperament.
Sadly this does occur as well—warning signs include unexplained STDs and genital infections that would otherwise not ever show up. Sometimes if bruising around genital areas and around breasts show up, you must question why. Regarding clothing, if underwear is stained, bloody or torn due to vaginal or anal bleeding, ask about potential medical conditions, and seek an investigation and diagnosis.
Basic Caregiver Neglect
Situations involving public places where the elderly are simply left behind immediately require legal attention. If by chance the accommodations are without heat or electricity, or if they present fire hazards, these could all be signs of neglect. Be sure to check and see if your loved one receives enough bathing and laundry care. Sometimes weight loss and dehydration can result from neglect. Be on the lookout for bedsores or signs that no one has checked in on your loved one in some time.
Sometimes criminals will take advantage of the elderly in other ways—financially. If you see strange withdrawals from the loved one’s bank account, that may be a sign of fraud. Consider unusual changes in power of attorney, life insurance property and wills as well. If cash ends up missing at an elder’s home, ask an attorney about what actions you should take, which could include a police report.
If You Suspect Elder Abuse, Seek Help Immediately
It’s important to note that not all of these are acts of malice. Sometimes facilities are understaffed to handle all the needs of their patients. That does not mean it’s okay! If negligence causes harm to occur, someone needs to be held accountable.
If you have other questions about nursing home neglect lawsuits, contact an attorney near you immediately who has experience with nursing home abuse and neglect.
Written on behalf of Francis Cristiano by AskTheLawyers.com™