Personal Injury Lawyer
No one wants to imagine that their senior relative is being abused in the nursing home you found for them. It may have been difficult to put a senior relative into a care home in the first place, so to find out that they are receiving much less than quality care can be not only frustrating, but may cause you to become outraged. Elder abuse may not be initially taken seriously by family members, not because they don’t care, but due to simply wanting to hope that it really isn’t going on.
If you suspect that nursing home abuse is happening, then you have to take action promptly. Often, that means getting help from a nursing home abuse lawyer about what to do next.
What are the general signs of abuse?
If there are changes in your loved one’s behavior, personality, and health, then abuse may be occurring. If you witness tension between your elder and the caregiver, then it is worth investigating further to confirm whether mistreatment is happening. It’s better to take a deeper look into how your loved one is being treated in the facility, than wait until something truly awful happens that cannot be undone. Signs of abuse are categorized into six different types, including:
- Physical abuse: your senior relative may have broken bones, sprains, dislocations, cuts, bruises, or other marks that cannot be explained by staff. You may see welts, scars, rope marks on wrists, broken glasses, and other physical signs of harm.
- Emotional abuse: abuse isn’t only physical; it can happen emotionally too. Emotional abuse can be trickier to identify, but isn’t impossible if you know what to look for. You may witness your loved one having emotional outbursts, mental breakdowns, unusual behavior, mumbling, rocking behaviors, sucking their thumb, and appearing to be in a state of fear.
- Sexual abuse: you need to get legal assistance if your loved one has STD or genital infections that the staff cannot explain, bruising ear their breasts or genital area, bloody or torn clothing, anal or vaginal bleeding not associated with a medical condition.
- Neglect: a caregiver may intentionally leave the elder alone in a public area or in isolation away from socializing which causes the resident stress. Your loved one may be living in a room that has unsanitary conditions, poor heating circulation, lack of air conditioning, lack or running water, or other maintenance issues. Your relative may not have received a bath or eaten in quite some time, and have peculiar weight loss or look dehydrated.
- Financial exploitation: a caregiver may take advantage of the resident financially. You may see changes in your loved one’s financial status, unexplained withdrawals from their accounts, and changes in life insurance policies, wills, power or attorney, or titles. There may be ATM withdrawals that they had no way of doing themselves due to being in the care home.
- Healthcare fraud: often perpetrated by healthcare personnel, there may be evidence of your loved one getting too little or too much medication, and duplicate bills for the same services and devices.