More than one million people enter a nursing home in the U.S. every year. For these individuals and their families and loved ones, nursing homes can be a godsend. Most families do not have the emotional reserves, physical and medical capabilities, or the time to care for an elderly loved one properly.
Americans trust that their cherished loved ones are safe and cared for in a nursing home. Most healthcare workers and nursing home facilities are excellent places for the elderly and those with disabilities. But unfortunately, some patients will be abused in a nursing home.
This is an incredibly difficult situation, and family members and loved ones can have a hard time confronting the abuse or knowing where to turn to for help. For the elderly and those who cannot advocate for themselves, it’s critical to their health, safety, and happiness that someone defends them and compensates them from nursing home abuse and neglect.
What are the signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse?
The elderly have a right to be safe and free of harassment and abuse while living in a nursing care facility. Unfortunately, nursing homes are often understaffed or fail to vet employees for abusive tendencies and past behaviors properly. This increases the chances of a nursing home resident being subjected to abuse.
There are three different categories of abuse, and all are against the law.
Verbal abuse would be considered using profane, illicit, or threatening language against a nursing home resident. Usually, abuse starts as verbal abuse, which can escalate to physical neglect and violence if it isn’t stopped. For those with family or friends living in a nursing home, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs of verbal abuse and prevent it from escalating into something deadly.
Physical abuse can include slapping, pinching, scratching, biting, pushing, restraining, and even sexually inappropriate touching. Withholding medication, or physically neglecting a nursing home resident’s needs fall into the realm of physical abuse.
In many cases, it can be difficult for family members to know if their loved one is being abused. Not all nursing home residents are verbal, or they may have dementia or other mental issues that prevent them from communicating their distress.
But if any of the following signs are present after placing an elderly family member in a nursing home, it’s possible that they are being abused or neglected.
- They seem fearful, worried, or anxious of the nursing staff.
- They’ve experienced significant weight loss or are dehydrated.
- They’ve experienced unexplained injuries.
- There are restraint marks on their wrists or ankles.
- They have bed sores.
- They aren’t getting their medication.
- They aren’t being bathed or cleaned.
What should someone do if they suspect their loved one is being abused in a nursing home?
Nursing home abuse is a serious matter that requires expert legal attention. An experienced nursing home and elder abuse lawyer can bring justice and compensation to abuse victims and their families. Having a nursing home cited for abuse can also prevent something horrible from happening to residents who aren’t fortunate enough to have anyone looking out for their wellbeing.
At USAttorneys.com, we’ve been helping concerned family and friends of the elderly find dedicated nursing home abuse attorneys. Please use the interactive map of Broward County, Florida to find an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer and get the compensation and justice that your loved one deserves.