If you made the difficult decision to place your elderly loved one in a nursing home, you are not alone. Over two million seniors now live in assisted living facilities and nursing homes throughout the United States. Nursing homes have a legal and moral responsibility to care for their elderly residents. Unfortunately, the reports of senior abuse and neglect continue to rise. If your family member currently resides in a nursing home facility, it is important to understand the signs of nursing home abuse in order to ensure the safety of your loved one remains protected.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
The four different types of nursing home abuse and neglect that may occur to elderly residents of nursing homes include physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse. While these types of abuse cover a vast range of possible scenarios, typically if an elderly senior suffers abuse or neglect as a resident of a nursing home it will fall into one of these categories.
Signs of Physical Abuse
The Journal of the American Medical Association research shows that when an elderly senior suffers any kind of physical abuse, they have a 300% higher risk of death. Some of the symptoms of physical abuse of elderly residents of nursing homes include bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, unexplained infections, unexplained weight loss, bruises, signs of physical restraint, broken or fractured bones, difficulty sleeping, unwashed hair, body, or clothes, unexplained injuries, genital injuries, torn clothing, or changes in their emotional state. Any of these signs could point to possible nursing home abuse.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Shockingly, the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, many elderly residents, unfortunately, experience sexual abuse as residents of nursing homes. If you notice any genital injuries, the development of a sexually transmitted disease, bruises on the legs, or serious changes in your loved one’s emotional state, it may indicate signs of sexual abuse.
Signs of Psychological Abuse
If you noticed that your elderly loved one has unexpected mood swings, depression, anxiety, expresses fear when nursing home staff appear, act violently, or has regressive tendencies such as thumb sucking or rocking back and forth, these may be signs of psychological abuse. Many elderly residents at nursing homes suffer from neurocognitive decline from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, however if you notice any unusual or disturbing changes in your loved one’s emotional state, it may be a sign of psychological abuse on the part of the nursing home.
Unfortunately, in some cases nursing home residents have their possessions or money stolen from them. Nursing home workers have the ability to freely move in and out of residence rooms in order to distribute medicine, assist with daily tasks, or reposition residence. This offers an opportunity for them to steal either property or money from residence. In other cases, the nursing home staff to manipulate an elderly resident into changing their estate planning documents. If you notice that any of the property, money, credit cards, or estate planning documents have changed regarding your loved one, you have the right to suspect possible financial abuse.
Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Attorney
If you discover or suspect that your elderly loved one suffered any kind of nursing home abuse as a resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility, you have the right to seek justice on their behalf. Contact the Dan Pruitt Law Firm to visit with an experienced nursing home attorney and learn how to protect the legal rights of your elderly family member. Contact us online or at (864) 280-7660 today for a free consultation.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.