When you decide to have an elderly loved one placed in a nursing home you hope that your loved one is going to be well cared for, respected, safe, and happy. You wouldn’t even dream that a loved one could be abused in the very facility that’s supposed to protect the elderly adults under their care.
If you ever suspect that something’s not right at your loved one’s nursing home you should act; however, it may be difficult for you to prove your suspicions. Abuse happens when you aren’t around, so how can you ever be sure?
There are certainly signs of abuse that you should watch out for. If you notice these signs of abuse, then you may want to get a nursing home abuse lawyer on your side. A lawyer can help gather any evidence of mistreatment or neglect that you’ve documented and put together a case for you.
Putting a stop to nursing home abuse can not only protect your elderly loved ones, but you may also be preventing other vulnerable adults from being harmed.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are several different types of elder abuse that can take place in nursing homes.
Physical abuse is when an elderly adult is being harmed physically, such as: hitting, scratching, pinching, pushing, shoving, punching, smacking, etc.
Mental and emotional abuse is when your elderly family member is being belittled or tormented.
Sexual abuse is any sexual content without consent, including with elderly adults who can’t give consent.
Financial abuse takes place when someone manipulates or tricks an elderly adult for financial gain. This can include accessing bank accounts, stealing an elder’s personal property, or tricking an elder into adding the person to the elder’s will, or giving them access to financial records.
Neglect is a common form of nursing home abuse and includes maltreatment, malnourishment, failure to provide adequate medical care, and failing to meet an elder’s physical needs in any way.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Anytime something doesn’t seem right you should probably trust your instincts and look into things. If you suspect that your family member is not being treated right, here are some of the signs that may indicate abuse. There is no substitute for being proactive and taking your loved one’s care seriously. If an elder adult can’t look out for him- or herself, then you have to do it.
- Signs of physical abuse could include – scratches on the body, bruises, especially hand imprints or bruising around the wrists, broken bones, torn or dirty clothing
- Signs of mental and emotional abuse – behavioral signs such as changes in mood or personality, aggressive or defensive behavior, fearfulness, anxiety, depression, or withdrawal
- Sexual abuse – signs include emotional and behavioral changes, torn clothing, bruising around the genitals, or anxiety, fearful behavior, depression, flinching away from physical contact
- Financial abuse –unauthorized changes to an elder’s financial records is an indicator of abuse; if something seems strange or fishy, such as: large withdrawals or changes to financial paperwork that doesn’t make sense
- Neglect – weight loss, frequently ill, dirtiness or poor hygiene, bed sores, malnourishment
If you watch out for these signs and maintain a record of what you’ve found, your attorney can help take your evidence and use it to expose nursing home abuse. Exposing abuse can help your loved one receive justice and compensation for this horrendous experience. In addition, you can keep other vulnerable adults from also being mistreated.