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Five Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Five Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Posted By The Weinstein Firm, LLC || 21-Jul-2015

With more than a million Americans living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, elder abuse is serious concern. Nursing home abuse can take a variety of forms, from physical abuse to financial exploitation. As elders lose their physical and mental acuity, they also lose their ability to defend themselves against abusers. As a result, it’s vital to be aware of the potential warning signs of nursing home abuse so you can report it and prevent future instances

Learn to Look for the Warning Signs of Abuse

Changes in Personality or Behavior

Sudden or uncharacteristic changes in a resident’s personality or behavior are a red flag that something may be wrong. If they are easily upset or agitated, or are afraid to be touched, they may be suffering physical or sexual abuse from caretakers or other patients. Frequent attempts to wander away or leave the facility can indicate a pattern of abuse they are trying to escape from.

Frequent Arguments or Tension with Staff

Another common sign of abuse is when an elderly person is frequently hostile or argumentative with members of the staff, particularly if it seems to be directed at certain staff members. A fear or reluctance to speak in the presence of staff members can also be an indication that they are being abused. Of course these can also just be the result of personality conflicts, but it is vital to investigate the situation further to protect the patient.

Broken Bones or Other Injuries

If a nursing home resident suffers any injury that requires hospitalization, the situation must be investigated. Nursing home staff are employed to care for the residents, and serious injuries can strongly imply a pattern of negligence on their part. Less severe injuries are an equally alarming sign, as bruises and cuts can indicate malicious physical abuse or unauthorized restraint.

Infections & Bed Sores

One of the strongest signs of neglect is when the patient develops infections or bed sores. If properly taken care of, infections are usually easily treated by nursing home staff. For bedridden patients, the staff should regularly reposition them and use proper cushioning to avoid pressure ulcers or bedsores. While either of these can develop in even the best care, they are easily preventable and treatable and should be seen as a red flag of elder neglect if there is no improvement of conditions.

Malnutrition & Dehydration

Another clear-cut sign of abuse or neglect is malnutrition. It is the nursing home’s duty to make sure the patient is as healthy as possible and getting the proper food and water they need. If the patient is malnourished or dehydrated, it is likely due to neglect or malicious denial of food and water. If you believe a nursing home resident may be suffering from dehydration or malnourishment, it is essential to report it to the proper authorities.

Take Legal Action to Protect Your Loved Ones

If you suspect that a loved one is being neglected or abused by nursing homes staff, contact an experienced attorney immediately. At The Weinstein Firm, we are dedicated to defending the rights of nursing home residents and their families. We truly care about our clients and their family members, and are tireless advocates for their rights. We offer free consultations at (404) 566-7009.

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