Nursing home abuse happens when caretakers, doctors, or other residents inflict harm on a senior person. This may happen at any time, during treatment, routine care, meals, socializing, or any other situation where interactions occur. Nursing home abuse is a more frequent problem than people are aware of. With nursing homes, there is often improper training, understaffing, and burnout that runs rampant. Despite these factors contributing to staff members or doctors taking out their anger on residents they should be treating kindly, there is no excuse for abusing a senior person.
Your loved one may or may not be exhibiting obvious signs of mistreatment, but if you have a gut feeling that something is just not right, then it is worth taking a closer look. This is especially true for senior relatives who have disabilities or medical conditions that prevents them from being able to communicate. As a nursing home abuse lawyer Scottsdale, AZ families trust from SL Chapman Trial Lawyers would suggest, family members are encouraged to be part of their loved one’s medical care and visit regularly. Signs that your relative may be suffering abuse or neglect in a nursing home can entail the following and more:
- Bed sores
- Mood swings
- Changes in medication
- Unexplained injuries or illness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Head or dental injuries (from falls)
- Bruises, cuts, welts, etc.
- Withdrawing from family members
- Not engaging with other residents
- Avoiding certain staff members or doctors
- Refusing to take medications
- Appearing alert, anxious, or depressed
Nursing home neglect and abuse can take on several forms, including psychological, physical, sexual, and financial. If you notice financial accounts for your loved one aren’t making sense, or there are transactions that your relative could not have made themselves, these are considered red flags and should be taken seriously. Sexual abuse entails any kind of unwanted sexual interactions between a senior resident and the offending party (usually someone who works at or visits the facility often). No one wants to imagine their cherished senior relative being abused, as just the thought is distressing enough. So if you are worried your relative is suffering from nursing home abuse, you need to recruit a dedicated legal team, report the abuse to authorities, and take other measures to ensure further incidents do not happen. Not only that, but your loved one may receive restitution for the trauma they endured.
It is estimated that as many as one in every three senior people have become victims of nursing home mistreatment. To take this point further, consider the fact that about two out of every three staff members surveyed by The World Health Organization have admitted to neglecting or abusing residents. Most assisted living facilities have at least one report or lawsuit related to neglect or abuse, but it’s important to realize that these numbers might be an underestimation. As a SL Chapman Trial Lawyers can attest, even with these statistics, it does not account for all of the incidents that went unreported because residents were afraid to come forward and speak up about what was happening to them.