As the United States population ages, nursing homes and care facilities have sprung up to meet the demand of an aging society. Unfortunately, some of these facilities either do not offer adequate care for their clients or are outright negligent. This can and has resulted in serious injury or death to clients through no fault of their own. Many older folks don’t have family or friends to act as their advocates, allowing nursing homes to either ignore their needs or take advantage of them.
Many nursing home residents are not aware they are being abused or neglected, nor do they realize they have legal rights to proper care. The abuse might be physical, but it can also be psychological or even financial if the facility is improperly or illegally taking money from the residents. Nursing homes have an obligation to provide care to a recognized standard, so failure to do so is cause for legal action against them. Keep in mind that older people are more fragile and unstable, so not every injury to a person in a nursing home is abuse. The key is finding issues that cannot be explained by the effects of aging or an accidental fall.
If you notice changes in the physical appearance of a loved one in a nursing home, look for these signs of possible abuse:
This can be difficult to determine or prove since emotional changes are common in nursing home patients. But look for sudden changes in mood, sadness, depression, nervous, or acting fearful particularly if these are not normal moods for your loved one. Emotional abuse comes in a variety of forms:
Sexual abuse of nursing home residents can be very difficult to identify or prove, because in many cases the resident has no memory of the assault or abuse. The abuse may also not come from the staff, but from other residents, visitors, or even family members. Some possible signs of sexual abuse include:
Nursing homes have been known to take advantage of residents financially, particularly when the resident has memory problems or is particularly trusting by nature. This abuse might also be perpetrated by other residents or even visitors who gain the trust of a resident. Some examples of financial abuse include:
Neglect of a nursing home resident can be very difficult to determine, because in many cases there are no physical signs that neglect is happening. But there are some things you can look for if you suspect a loved one is being neglected:
Dino Law has attorneys well versed in nursing home law and signs of abuse. If you have a loved one you suspect is a victim of any nursing home abuse, contact us today so we can being investigating your case and help you quickly take action to resolve the issues or seek legal remedies.