When you take a loved one to a nursing home facility, you expect top care and professionalism from the staff. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If you fear your loved one is the victim of nursing abuse and neglect, you may have a case. Before you can decide ifyou have a case or not, look for these five types of abuse in nursing homes.
The most common sign is physical abuse. You notice bruising or scars and have no good reason of how they got there. Unexplained broken bones, sprains or signs of restraint (marks on the wrist) are all examples of this.
Another kind of physical abuse is the failure to take medications properly. If your loved one is on a regular medicine and you notice the symptoms or side effects of not having a regular dose, this could be a sign of neglect and cause for concern.
Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse cannot be seen. Some signs of this could be unusual behaviors or signs that resemble Dementia. These signs could include mumbling, sucking on a thumb or rocking behaviors. Signs of emotional abuse may be hard to spot in the elderly and even if a pattern is spotted, these signs can be discounted as a natural aging behavior. If you think this is a possibility, make note of any unusual behaviors or conversations.
Sexual abuse in nursing homes can include unexplained STDs or other genital infections. There could also be bruising near genitals or breasts. Other signs of sexual abuse could be vaginal or anal bleeding unrelated to a medical condition leaving blood-stained underwear.
Caregiver neglect could be categorized by any of the following: leaving the elderly alone, unsafe living conditions such as lack of heat, unsuitably dressed for the weather or not bathing the person correctly. All of these could be signs that the caregiver is not caring as much as they are asked to. Other examples of this could be soiled bedding or clothing and unusual weight loss or dehydration.
Signs of financial abuse could be changes in or unexplained withdrawals from the elderly person’s bank account or missing cash from a purse or wallet. Other signs include the addition of a new name to credit cards, changes in power of attorney or even property. Also, keep an eye out for unusual goods, services or subscriptions the person couldn’t have signed up for or purchased alone. This is an especially tricky situation and we advise you keep tabs on all items to ensure no suspicious activities begin.
If you believe a loved one was injured or abused while under the care of a nursing home, it’s important to seek advice from an attorney who will guide you through this challenging and emotional time. 216-861-1234 or submit a contact form for a free consultation.
For more information on forms of elderly abuse and neglect, check out our other blog about who is to blame when a nursing home injury occurs.
About the author: Brandon Duber, a Partner with Bentoff & Duber Co., LPA, is a lawyer with proven experience in the courtroom and expertise in the areas of workers’ compensation, criminal defense, personal injury and medical malpractice law. He received his B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and his J.D. from The Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH.