Nursing Home Abuse: When It Happens To Your Loved One
Nursing homes are highly regulated in most states. However, even those in strict states may not be inspected as often as they should be. Not only must they be staffed by a minimum number of nurses, doctors, dietitians, and other specialists, but they also should carefully check their employees before they are hired. Nursing home abuse is a horrible crime that can affect almost any elderly or disabled person or loved one. When it happens to your family, you need to know what to do.
Know What to Watch For
Loved ones and other nursing home residents are in the best position to notice and report abuse. The below signs may or may not indicate abuse, but they should be reported and investigated, nevertheless.
Neglect: This type of abuse can be subtle and difficult to pinpoint when the resident is not being cared for properly. Signs of that include residents that are not bathed, medicated, turned, fed, and more. This can result in weight loss, bed sores, illnesses, skin conditions, and mental health disturbances.
Sexual: Sexual abuse of the elderly and disabled is more common than many might suspect. Some victims are embarrassed about the abuse and may blame themselves. It can be difficult to catch such types of abuse and many loved ones must resort to hidden cameras before it is stopped. Nursing home residents being abused may show signs of depression, anxiety around certain members of the staff, and fear for no apparent reason.
Physical Abuse: In most cases, the signs of physical abuse are more visible to loved ones. Bruises, broken bones, cuts, and even burns may be present on your loved one's body and face. Unexplained injuries of any type should be reported to the head of the nursing home.
Report and Prosecute
All types of abuse are against the law. Once you have reported an issue to the nursing home management, take things further and contact the state agency in charge of monitoring nursing homes. Finally, contact law enforcement and press charges. It's not possible to overreact to signs of nursing home abuse and others are probably being abused along with your loved one.
Take Civil Action
Nursing homes owe their residents a duty of care. They must ensure that they are healthy, happy, and taken care of. When that does not happen, the nursing home may owe loved ones monetary compensation. Speak to a personal injury lawyer about taking action against the nursing home management.
For more information, contact personal injury attorneys near you.