Nursing home abuse is more common than people would like to believe. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to identify and prove, especially in cases where no relatives reside near the facility housing their loved one. The leading resource to obtain information in reference to nursing home abuse and neglect is nursinghomeabusecenter.org, and concerned parties should visit their site. This comprehensive website is an excellent resource and guide to utilize when searching for information and advice aimed at protecting residents of nursing homes.
Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is typically categorized by physical, emotional, or financial harm that is placed upon residents of these facilities. Further discussions on each of these forms of abuse are available at nursinghomeabusecenter.org, which provides a plethora of useful information about this subject, and a brief discussion of these is provided here.
The most common form of abuse imposed upon the elderly in nursing facilities, is financial exploitation. This could be something as simple as staff members stealing, borrowing, or conning money from patients. The most abhorrent schemes are more complex, and there have been many documented cases of administrators and staff creating elaborate schemes with intent to bilk entire life savings from residents.
Physical and Emotional Abuse
Physical abuse is any sort of force or non-accidental incident that harms patients, and can even be the result of neglect by caregivers. Nursing home neglect occurs when patients are not fed, bathed, medicated properly, and there overall needs are not cared for as promised when they enrolled in the facility. Emotional abuse transpires when the mental well being of residents is not tended to. For more details about emotional incidences such as verbal abuse, instilling fear, and isolating patients.
This form of abuse is one of the most appalling forms of harm to be instilled upon an elderly victim, and often difficult to identify or prove. Shame and embarrassment often prevents victims of any age to come forth with such accusations. These situations will typically require outside medical opinions and advice from a professional nursing home abuse lawyer.
Signs and Indications of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Signs of physical, emotional, financial, sexual abuse, or nursing home neglect may not always be readily apparent. Certain signs, especially the physical, are more difficult to mask, and may be more easy to identify. Visible injuries such as open sores, bruising, abrasions, and filthy garments that smell of human waste are red flags that indicate a problem. These incidents should be documented and inquired about with administrators and facility management. The aforementioned website explains in vast detail what indicators need to be looked for in regard to symptoms, both evident and less obvious.
Accidents can, and will, occur from time to time, and by seeking answers on your own, it is often possible to rule out abuse. It is when such occurrences continue to happen on a regular basis, and cannot be accounted for, that legal action may be warranted.
Less indicative symptoms of nursing home abuse victims include withdrawal from socialized activities, jumpiness, depression, and defensiveness.
What to Do if Abuse is Suspected
The key to successfully ending abuse, or prosecuting it, lies in accurate, detailed record keeping that can be best obtained through communication and visible access to the patient. Document every suspicious physical indicator, as well as any notable emotional factors. Immediately speak with management and administrators about your concerns, and bring your notes. If your concerns are not addressed immediately, or to your satisfaction, it is advisable to file a complaint with your states’ Adult Protection Agency.
If you believe that legal action may be required at any point, immediately contact a nursing home abuse lawyer listed on nursinghomeabusecenter.org’s website. They provide, at no cost, an extensive list of qualified attorneys in every state that can assist you in pursuing your claim, and protecting your loved one. Each state has their own laws regulating statutes of limitations regarding lawsuits, so delaying this action may result in no recourse for compensation.