It is unfortunate but true that nursing home abuse exists even today. You find and trust a nursing home to take good care of your aging parents. However, later on you learn about their wrongful attitude towards your loved ones. Sometimes, an elderly may feel shy and embarrassed to share the nursing home abuse that they are going through with others. On the contrary, sometimes they have no other choice than to put up with the abuse because they think that nothing can be done about it.
This is where you need to understand your responsibility carefully. Once you entrust a nursing home to care for your elderly parent or any one you love, you must keep a check and balance of how they are fulfilling their responsibilities and treating them. Wrongful treatment under no circumstance is acceptable. If you fear or you’re sure that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse then contact our nursing home abuse lawyer to seek justice.
As mentioned above, some victims of nursing home neglect and abuse may hesitate to inform their families of their situation. In such a case, here are the warning signs and symptoms that can help you determine whether or not they are being ill-treated.
Top Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
You can’t suspect abuse if your elderly parent has a serious medical condition and is often hospitalized. In such situations, you’re mentally and financially prepared as you are already aware of their deteriorating condition.
However, if they don’t have any serious health condition and they are unexpectedly hospitalized then it should ring a bell. You must dig in deep to find out what happened and why. If the assigned caretakers fail to give you clear answers or beat around the bush in response to your queries, it’s most likely that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse.
Unexplained Fractures and Bruises
Fractures, bruises, and broken bones are clear signs of abuse. However, here the question comes down to how these injuries were caused. For example, were they caused because of physical abuse or sexual abuse? To figure this out, evaluate the bruises.
For example, bruises along with abrasions, broken bones, pressure marks and abrasion indicate mistreatment and physical abuse. However, if you spot bruises around genital areas and breasts that is indicative of sexual abuse.
New Bed Sores
With proper care and treatment, bed sores can be prevented. If your loved one is not mobile and tends to develop bed sores then it does point towards lack of appropriate care or nursing home neglect. Bed sores occur when patients remain stationary for far too long. This usually happens when the caregiver fails to pay proper attention to the patient. And that is definitely something you don’t expect from a nursing home.
Bed sores, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, predominantly result from prolonged periods of lying or sitting in one position. They are common among bedridden individuals, who are not re-positioned enough. Unfortunately, a large number of these individuals are old people who have difficulty in moving and who live in nursing homes and are not taken care of properly.
Did you know that according to the NCHS (National Center for Health Statistics) report on pressure ulcers, 11% of nursing home residents are affected by pressure sores? Most of these bed sores are preventable if the nursing staff takes good care of patients.
Studies also show that bed sores can also occur because of:
- Prolonged periods of sitting in a wheelchair
- Improper placement
If patients are not repositioned or moved with care from one position to another, minor skin irritations can occur, which can quickly grow into serious bed sores and then permanent tissue damage, amputation, infection and even death. So, this is definitely a sign that you need to take seriously and should not ignore.
Changes in Mental Status
Another sign that you need to be watchful for is changes in the mental status of your loved one. Not many people know this but sometimes nursing home staff uses chemical restraints to make their jobs easier.
If you identify sudden changes in the mental status of your loved one, ranging from a coma to a stupor or confusion, then you can be confident that the nursing staff is relying on chemical restraints. At this stage, you must take charge and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your case and take the appropriate legal action against the nursing home.
Rapid Weight Loss
Unexplained or rapid weight loss of a loved one who is staying at a nursing home is indicative of active abuse. With a proper care plan, the elderly would either maintain or gain weight at the nursing home. However, weight loss indicates that they are not being taken care of properly and are neglected. It also signals depression, improper treatment, overmedication, and withholding of food.
All these signs mentioned above are strong indicators of nursing home abuse. If you can spot any one or more of these signs then chances are that your loved one is a victim of abuse or negligence. Therefore, it is imperative to consider these signs and seek justice by discussing your case with a legal expert.
If your parent has been neglected in a nursing home, call 1-877-234-9114 (toll-free) to discuss your options with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who understands nursing home negligence and abuse.