Milwaukee, WI- At any given point in the U.S. there are approximately 3 million people living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities the majority of which are seniors. These seniors are frail, often suffering from chronic health problems or cognitive disorders. They are often too weak or incapable of protecting themselves from abuse or speaking out when they are neglected so they rely on their families to be their voice.
Nursing home abuse victims whether it is physical, sexual or verbal are often too afraid to report abuse even to a trusted loved one. Sometimes they feel like their caregivers will punish them for coming forward and they will subjected to additional mistreatment. Nursing home residents who suffer from dementia are sometimes unable to tell others they are being abused or neglected and refuse say anything because they don’t think a facility or their loved ones will take them seriously.
When an elderly person cannot or are too afraid to say something, they will exhibit signs that their loved ones can look for determine if they are being harmed or their needs are being neglected. One sign alone does not necessarily indicate abuse or neglect but when a loved notices a combination of signs they should consider contacting a Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorney.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect:
- Unusual bruises, cuts, burns or broken bones can be sign of physical abuse
- Genital bruising or injuries in the breast region can indicate sexual abuse
- Atypical weight loss, bed sores, bad hygiene and medical need that are unattended are signs of neglect
- Lack of interest in daily activities, depression and emotional withdrawal can indicate abuse or neglect
- Unforeseen medical emergencies
- Financial problems can indicate a resident is a victim of financial exploitation
When a person notices these signs they should contact nursing home administrators and request they investigate your concerns. State agencies such as the long-term care ombudsman should also be contacted so they too can investigate and
If a person is still unsure their loved one is being mistreated, a family can decide to utilize a hidden camera–also called a Granny Cam—to see for themselves what kind of care their elderly loved on is receiving. These cameras can be hidden inside everyday objects like a clock but it is important to check with administrators of home since some states consider these cameras an invasion of privacy.
Many families find that even though they went to great pains to choose a safe and well-staffed Wisconsin nursing home, their loved ones are subjected to abuse and neglect. Just because they’ve chosen what they believe to an outstanding facility that doesn’t mean they’ve eliminated the risk their loved one will be abused or neglected.
When a nursing home resident has been harmed or has died as a result of a facilities actions or inaction, they have the right to hold that facility accountable. With the assistance of a Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorney, a resident can seek compensation for their medical expenses and emotional distress.