A nursing home should be a place a loved one goes to spend their last years peacefully and as comfortably as possible. They should receive proper medical care from attentive and professional health care workers in an environment catered to their needs.
Unfortunately, all too often there are cases where residents of a nursing home are abused, neglected, and left to fend for themselves.
Examples of Nursing Home Abuse
The signs of nursing home abuse may not only be seen in a physical form but financially and mentally as well. Knowing what to look for can save the life, financial, and mental well-being of a loved one under the care of a nursing home.
Types of nursing home abuses can include:
- Financial scams
- Medication errors or medication overuse
- Sexual abuse
- General neglect or physical abuse
Studies have shown Alabama nursing homes rank among the worst in the country concerning staffing, providing adequate assistance to residents, accident prevention, and availability of resident activities.
How Common Is Elder Abuse?
Research indicates approximately 5 million elders or residents of nursing homes are abused each year. Even with that large number many still go unreported.
The National Center for Victims of Crimes research shows the following about the different types of elder abuse:
- 27% of claims are for physical abuse
- 22% of claims are for occupant-on-occupant abuse, which is physical or sexual abuse performed by fellow residents
- 15% of claims are for general negligence
What Are the Signs of Elder Abuse?
If you suspect a loved one is being abused, you may see signs such as:
- Broken bones
- Fear of communicating around certain members of staff
- Unexplained injuries and weight loss
- Unusual financial transactions
These are only a few signs that can indicate abuse. It is important for family members to keep a sharp eye for any indications that something simply is not right.
Not all abuse is physical.
Mental or emotional abuse can also result in abnormal behavior from your loved one.
What Actions Should You Take If You Discover Abuse?
- Relocation: The well-being of your loved one should be prioritized over everything. Move them to a safe long term care facility that will serve their needs. An example is a hospital or care facility that has been thoroughly researched and validated.
- Documentation: Keep records of all injuries, making sure they are also documented by the nursing home facility. Maintain records of statements made by health care workers involved in your loved one’s care and the living conditions of the nursing home.
- Representation: Make sure you contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in nursing home abuse soon after the neglect and injury have been discovered.
Nursing home abuse simply preys on some of the most vulnerable in our society. They suffer from physical, mental, or age-related ailments that prevent them from protecting themselves.
If you have a friend or relative who has suffered from nursing home abuse or negligence please contact the attorneys at Siniard, Timberlake & League to set up a FREE consultation. We can help.