When you place your loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to be well-cared for. The last thing that you expect is for them to be abused. Unfortunately, there are evil people out in the world who will prey on people, including the sick, mentally-disabled and the elderly. As such, it’s important that you know what the signs of nursing home abuse are and be on the lookout for them when you visit your loved one in a nursing home. If your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas can help you hold those responsible for their actions.
Here are five ways your loved one can be abused in a nursing home and signs that it may be happening. If you recognize any of these signs, know that the right personal injury lawyer can help you and your family.
Physical Abuse Signs
Physical abuse is one of the easiest types of nursing home abuse to spot. Physical abuse often presents itself as injuries, such as bruises, scratches, welts or broken bones. If your loved one is being physically abused, you may notice these injuries on their body. It’s important to ask a member of the staff what happened and to document all injuries. In some cases, your loved one may have fallen or injured themselves. But if you see a pattern to the injuries or just feel something isn’t right, you need to call in someone to investigate.
Emotional Abuse Signs
Another way those living in a nursing home can be abused is emotional. Emotional abuse is harder to spot, but if you know your loved one’s personality well, you may notice something isn’t right. Some of the signs include withdrawing from people, being scared, nervous or anxious, not participating in activities they once enjoyed or becoming depressed. If you notice any of these signs, talk to your loved one about why they feel the way they do and if there is anything you can do to help them overcome their fears. Also be sure to ask if a staff member is making them feel sad, depressed or angry.
Sexual Abuse Signs
Sexual abuse can occur in nursing homes. Signs of sexual abuse include bruising or pain around the genitalia, ripped, torn or stained undergarments and withdrawing from people. If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home, it is important to call in the authorities to investigate right away. Physical DNA is vital to proving these types of cases, so you want to capture as much as possible as soon as you learn of a possible attack.
Financial Abuse Signs
One of the lesser known types of abuse that can occur in nursing home residents is financial abuse. Someone may be taking advantage of your loved one to get them to write checks to them, give them cash, or co-sign on loans. A staff member may also be stealing from your loved one. If your loved one has unexplained expenditures, starts talking about giving staff members money or loans, or says that money or checks have gone missing, you should be wary and report the issue to the management team of the nursing home and the authorities.
Signs of Neglect
The last type of abuse that your loved one can encounter when in a nursing home is neglect. Those in a nursing home rely on the staff to help them with their basic needs, including getting dressed, brushing their teeth and hair and bathing. If your loved one looks dirty and unkempt when you visit, if you notice bed sores, if they are rapidly losing weight, if their dental health and/or hygiene is severely declining, or you have other worries about the conditions your loved one is being kept in, you need to report the possible neglect.
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, a Southern Nevada personal injury attorney can fight to get your loved one the compensation they are entitled to. At Ed Bernstein & Associates, we work hard for our clients and will work hard for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.