Do You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
Unfortunately, the growing demand for elderly care is far outpacing the resources necessary for proper care. With COVID-19 and the inability to visit our loved ones cases of neglect and abuse seem to be on the rise. These facilities are often for profit businesses that need patients to generate revenue but are finding it harder to keep the facilities properly staffed. If you suspect your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home, you should act fast.
Main Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are three major types of abuse: physical, emotional and sexual. In some cases, injuries may also be caused by caregiver neglect. If a loved one has suffered harm due to any of these they may be entitled to recover damages which would include medical expenses, costs to relocate, pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress. When abuse or neglect is suspected time is of the essence. The safety and wellbeing of your loved one is critical may require immediate action.
Common Signs of Abuse
Be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect and do not be afraid to take action. Some of the signs of physical abuse include: unexplained injuries, bruising, scarring, welts, refusal to take medications, signs of restraint around the wrists, broken eyeglasses or a caregiver not wanting you to be alone with your loved one. Signs of emotional abuse may be harder to detect as they involve changes in behavior, mumbling, rocking, thumb sucking and unexplained bedwetting.
Additional signs of emotional abuse are seen in the behavior of the care giver. Threatening language, belittling comments and controlling tones are all indicators there may be emotional abuse taking place when you are not there. Finally, the signs of sexual abuse are most disturbing and often result in frequent STD’s, UTI’s, genital bleeding, stained underwear, bruising near genital and/or breasts, and torn underwear. A respectful inspection may be difficult but be mindful of these signs. Your loved one may be too afraid to say anything.
Neglect in Long-Term Care Facilities
In addition to abuse, we often see caregiver neglect. These seem to be more common due to underperforming facilities, under staffed homes, overworked employees or just bad apples. Signs of neglect include unsafe living conditions, improperly dressed patients, soiled bed linens, dirty and unbathed patients and unusual weight loss. One of the most obvious signs that there is neglect involves bed sores. When nursing homes are understaffed bedsores can develop and become painful, lead to infections are life threatening.
Call an Attorney for Legal Help
If you suspect any of these call DSS to report or 911 if it is an emergency. Take a complete inventory of the room, facility, and any staff members on duty. Take photos of your loved one and their room. Then, contact an experienced attorney. At Schiller & Hamilton we have been handling nursing home cases and injury claims for nearly 30 years. Your consultation will be confidential and at no cost to you. We can help get your loved one medical care and a transfer to another facility. Time is of the essence.