Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Negligence
When a family makes the difficult decision to place a loved one under the care of a nursing home facility, they should not have to worry that their elderly family member will receive anything less than a standard level of attention.
Unfortunately, incidents of nursing home abuse and negligence are steadily continuing to rise, leaving many families hesitant to trust in the staff members of any given facility. As such, it is important to be able to recognize the warning signs that mistreatment may be taking place. Abuse cannot be defined by one act alone, as it can take shape in a multitude of ways.
Physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and financial exploitation are all common forms of mistreatment among the nursing home community, and as such, there are various different warning signs that should not be ignored.
Acts of physical abuse, including sexual exploitation, are among some of the most commonly reported incidents in nursing homes. This can include anything from a staff member using excessive force to a caregiver intentionally slapping, hitting or punching a patient. As such, it is important to be aware of any blatant signs of physical trauma—including lacerations, restraint marks, bruising around the genital area, etc.
Similarly, emotional abuse and/or neglect can have just as much of a devastating effect on a patient. This can include any act of humiliation or intimidation, as well as any blatant disregard for the patient’s needs. This type of abuse can manifest in the way your loved one acts around their abuser—as they may become fearful any time a staff member is around—or in their general appearance, including drastic weight loss or a lack of hygiene.
Sadly, many elderly residents are scared to speak up, or even physically incapable of communicating what has happened to them, so a large number of these cases go unreported. In order to prevent such abuse from continuing, it is crucial that you remain proactive and aware. If it has come to your attention that any type of abuse or neglect has, in fact, taken place, you should not hesitate to consult an attorney immediately and explore your legal options.
No one should be subjected to this type of abuse, especially if they are incapable of defending themselves from it, so it is every victim’s right to seek damages for the harm that they have suffered. By filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party, an elderly victim may not only have the chance to recover compensation for their injuries, but they may also have the opportunity to seek justice for their mistreatment.