Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be an emotionally taxing decision. In most cases, a person who does so puts his or her trust into the care of professionals who you hope are not only qualified, but attentive and loving. Anyone’s worst nightmare is that their family member might be abused and neglected, something that sadly happens more than nursing facilities would like to admit. However, it can be difficult to pin down what shape nursing home abuse takes on.
Abuse can be defined in a number of ways, so it’s important to know what you need to watch for. Physical abuse tends to be the easiest to spot, ranging from actually hitting the patient to overuse of physical restraints that eventually cause harm.
Neglect occurs when the staff simply fails to take proper care of patients. This often happens due to understaffing, but it directly harms the patient and the care facility should be reprimanded for their failure to meet the needs of their residents.
Sexual abuse can take the form of any unwanted exploitation, harassment, or attention. Finally, psychological abuse can include yelling, shaming, manipulating, and criticizing the patient. Psychological and sexual abuse are the hardest to identify and often result in behavioral changes in the patient.
If your gut is telling you something might be wrong, speak up because the chances are, you’re probably right. Here are a few signs that you might have a nursing home abuse case on behalf of your loved one:
- Unexplained broken bones, cuts, and/or bruises resulting from falls
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Mood swings
- Rapid gain or loss of weight
- Unclean or unsanitary conditions
- Personal lack of cleanliness or a change in appearance
- Refusal to take medicine
- Odd relationship with caregiver. Reluctance to speak when staff members are around, or the caregiver doesn’t like leaving the patient with others or the patient appears fearful or upset with the caregiver.
- Frequent infections or bed sores
- Patient wanting to be isolated from other people
If these signs are appearing in your loved one, then there’s a chance your family member is experiencing abuse at the hands of their caregivers. To seek legal action, contact Harvey Walner & Associates and learn more on how to receive the justice your family deserves.
If you have noticed signs of abuse or neglect in the care of a loved one and you have questions, contact Rich Hitz at Carlson & Burnett. Rich has specific experience representing victims and families who have concerns and want to address nursing home abuse and neglect issues. If you would like to discuss your case or want more information, please contact our offices for a confidential consultation. Please contact our legal team today at (402) 810-8611!