Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Unfortunately, there will be times when elderly residents who are in a nursing home will be abused in some way. This is a sad situation because elders are a group of people who often can’t defend themselves, and they rely on the help that is supposed to be provided by the staff at the nursing home. If you have a loved one who is in a nursing home, there are some signs that you can look for if you suspect that any kind of abuse is taking place. If possible, visit your family member as often as you can. You can also send other family members or people you trust to check on the person if you can’t.
Observe any changes in the behavior of your family member. This is one of the first signs that abuse could be taking place. You also want to note whether your family member seems withdrawn from others or seems to be quieter than normal. Pay attention to whether your family member seems tense when a caregiver is around. Most of the time, an elder won’t say anything about being abused in front of the abuser because the person is usually threatened about saying anything.
When you’re with your family member, physical abuse is often the easiest type to spot. Broken bones are often the most common type of physical abuse because the bones of elderly individuals are fragile. It doesn’t take much force to break the bones of an elderly person. You also want to look for any abnormal bruises or scarring. Workers will often try to hide bruises or wait until one bruise has healed before abusing the person again. Some of the objects that are used to commit physical abuse include belts, brushes and the hand. At times, the elder won’t take medications in the proper manner. This can sometimes be a sign of neglect as the workers don’t give medications on time or don’t let the person take medications. However, there are times when this kind of neglect isn’t committed intentionally. Nurses and assistants are sometimes so busy that they can’t get to each resident on a regular schedule. Broken glasses or other items that are needed for functioning on a daily basis are also types of physical abuse. Sometimes, the elder might not want to be left alone in a room with the workers at the nursing home.
The same symptoms that you notice for physical abuse could also be related to mental or emotional abuse. Your loved one might not want to talk to people and appear to be withdrawn from socializing. Sucking the thumb or mumbling are also signs of emotional and mental abuse. Sexual abuse does occur in nursing homes. It is harder to detect because of the areas of the body where the abuse occurs. Ask to see the charts of the person to look for any signs of unusual infections or an STD that might be present. Look at the clothing. If sexual abuse is taking place, then there could be blood on the underwear or on the pants. There could also be blood on the sheets. Financial abuse is common among nursing home residents because workers are usually responsible for the finances of the people who are in the facility. They submit paperwork for billing and monitor the amount of money that each person has available in bank accounts. A way to monitor this on your own is to take charge of the finances on your own instead of using the services offered.
An attorney can look into the abuse that is suspected. If abuse is present, then the attorney can bring the proper claims against the nursing home as well as the people who are involved. Compensation can be sought for pain and suffering as well as medical bills and treatments needed for the elderly individual.