No one places a beloved family member in a Beaufort nursing home with the expectation that they will face mistreatment. Unfortunately, abuse is commonplace in these facilities. Abuse frequently goes unnoticed in nursing homes due to the diminished capacity of many residents. In some cases, issues with understaffing can also contribute to this environment. While the employees of these facilities are supposed to be trained professionals dedicated to caring for your family member, abuse frequently goes unreported.
As a family member of a Beaufort nursing home resident, it is essential that you understand the warning signs of abuse. However, many types of abuse commonly occur in these facilities, and the warning signs are not always the same. Taking steps to identify abuse can go a long way in protecting the health and legal rights of your family member.
Signs of Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is one of the most common types of abuse encountered in a Beaufort nursing home. Any harmful physical contact directed at a resident could qualify. Examples could include punching, slapping, kicking, or choking a resident. Using unnecessary force or chemical restraints is also physical abuse.
The most common sign of physical abuse is unexplained injuries. For example, a string of unexplained bruises or cuts could be an indicator of abuse. Victims are often too afraid to report mistreatment, but their demeanor may change in the presence of an abuser.
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Signs of Mental Abuse
Mental abuse can be just as damaging – if not more so – than physical abuse. This can take the form of shouting, screaming, threatening, or berating a resident. On the opposite end of the spectrum, mental abuse could also involve ignoring or neglecting someone. In some cases, a nursing home employee could restrict a resident’s recreational time or food.
The most common sign of mental abuse is a change in demeanor. Abused patients will sometimes draw into themselves. They may refuse to engage and appear more confused. Emotional outbursts and other unexpected behavioral changes could be other signs of abuse.
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Signs of Sexual Abuse
Nursing home residents in Beaufort are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse. This occurs in part because of the inability of many residents to report their situation. Signs of sexual abuse could include unexplained injuries to private areas or positive tests for sexually transmitted diseases.
Signs of Financial Abuse
One form of abuse common in nursing homes but rarely discussed is financial abuse. While Beaufort seniors have the right to manage their own finances, many are vulnerable to financial fraud through threats or trickery. Warning signs for financial abuse can include large withdrawals from a bank account or even an unexpected change to a will or estate plan.
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Contact a Beaufort Attorney if You Notice Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
When nursing home abuse occurs, a compassionate lawyer could help hold the responsible party accountable. In some cases, that involves a lawsuit against a nurse or caregiver. In others, the owner or operator of the facility could face liability.
No matter who is responsible, the value of understanding the warning signs of nursing home abuse in Beaufort cannot be overstated. To learn more about protecting the legal rights of your loved one, call Schiller & Hamilton.