When we leave our elderly loved ones in a nursing facility, we believe that they will be lovingly and compassionately cared for throughout their stay. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Thousands of nursing home residents are the victims of abuse or neglect and this can cause medical complications and sometimes death. Your loved one may be afraid to report the abuse for fear of retaliation or may simply be oblivious to the situation. It is helpful to know the common types of nursing home abuse and neglect so you can take legal action to protect your loved ones.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are many forms of nursing home abuse and neglect. The most common types include:
- Physical abuse
- Medical neglect
- Emotional neglect
- Personal hygiene neglect
- Basic needs neglect
- Financial abuse
- Sexual abuse
Nursing home neglect is likely the most common occurrence in nursing homes. The failure to properly care for a nursing home resident can lead to many problems, both physical and emotional. Nursing home falls are quite common and may be a sign of nursing home neglect.
Unfortunately, when a nursing home resident suffers a fall, his or her physical health could deteriorate rapidly. The resident could require surgery for a broken bone and thus become bedridden. Bedridden residents are the most likely to suffer neglect in nursing homes.
What are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
There are many signs to look for when you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect. Some of the signs may be subtler than others. As a family member, you know your elderly loved one better than most people do and you may be better able to notice the signals that indicate a problem, such as:
- Unexplained bruises, broken bones
- Change in temperament, less communicative, moody
- Poor hygiene
- Unsanitary conditions
- Malnutrition or sudden weight loss
- Bed sores
- Reduced mobility
Remember that your loved one may be unable or unwilling to report an incident of abuse or neglect. Therefore, it is up to you to bring attention to any possible abuse or neglect that you believe happened.
Nursing home abuse and neglect occur for many reasons and can happen even in any nursing home facility. Lack of enough workers, high staff turnover, poor supervision and training and other factors can all play a role in abuse and neglect in nursing homes.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
The law protects nursing home residents from abuse and neglect. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 provides protection for nursing home residents. If you believe that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect report the problem to the nursing home manager. Then, consult with an elder law attorney to discuss the details of the situation. Your attorney will help to gather evidence and determine what occurred and whether it was abusive or neglectful.
The nursing home is responsible for providing high quality care to your loved one. If the nursing home was negligent, they could be held responsible for the resulting injuries or damages. Contact our team of experienced attorneys at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. for the help you need to protect your loved one.