How to recognize elder abuse in nursing homes
It can be extremely frustrating for families to discover that their loved ones are being mistreated at a facility that they entrusted with their care.
As of today, there are over 3.2 million adults living in long term care and nursing home facilities across the United States, while up to 40 per cent of adults will reside in a nursing home at some point in their lives.
According to the National Center for Elder Abuse, nursing home abuse can increase a residents’ chance of death by 300 percent in the first three years following the abuse.
Whether intentional or not, elder abuse is elder abuse.
An important step in protecting the rights of our elderly loved ones is to learn the dozens of warning signs associated with nursing home abuse and neglect. With this knowledge you’ll hopefully be able to help your loved one before the problem progresses.
Below are just a few of the more obvious signs of elder abuse.
Weight Loss: While medication can affect a person’s appetite, this isn’t the only cause of weight loss in elders. Nursing home facilities are responsible for ensuring that all residents receive the necessary nutrition and hydration they need to maintain a healthy weight and remain in good health.
Bruises: Similar to weight loss, certain medications can make a person more susceptible to bruising, but bruising is rarely accidental. If you notice bruises in patterns or clusters, or bruises that re-appear, this can be the sign of intentional bruising. A study in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, Bruising as a Marker of Physical Elder Abuse, reported that bruises occurring as a result of physical elder mistreatment are often large and occur on the face, lateral right arm, and back of the torso.
Reclusiveness: You probably know your loved one better than anyone else. If you notice that they are becoming less social and are experiencing mood swings, it may be a result of elder abuse or neglect.
Poor Living Conditions: Sometimes evidence of nursing home abuse does not directly deal with your loved one, but rather the state of the conditions they reside in. Check out their room for bed bugs, unsanitary bathroom stalls, or cracked windows for example. If a nursing facility fails to maintain their facilities, you can almost guarantee they are also failing to maintain the standard of care for your loved ones that you expect.
Taking Action Against A Negligent Nursing Home
By proving that the nursing home staff has subjected your family member to some form of elder abuse, you may be able to recover financial compensation for everything from medical expenses to damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. You can claim similar damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Keep in mind that by taking legal action now, you will not only be helping to secure justice for your family member, but you also will be saving others from suffering similar abuse by holding the guilty parties responsible.
Contact A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Who Cares
Don’t let another day pass without an experienced advocate on your side in your fight against a negligent nursing home or managed care facility. Contact us for a free consultation with a one of our experienced Texas nursing home negligence attorneys, or visit any 1 of our 11 locations. We serve victims of nursing home neglect and abuse and their families across Texas and nationwide.
No appointment is required during normal business hours, and bilingual staff members are available to assist our Spanish-speaking clients. Se habla español.
- Written by Jill Fowler