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Red Flags Nursing Home Abuse

Elder Law Lawyer

Nursing home facilities are supposed to be places that provide safety and care to the senior population. Many families eventually have to put their loved one into a nursing home, so they get the attention that they need for their remaining years. But devastatingly, nursing home abuse and neglect is more rampant than people realize. This is why family members must be informed about what nursing home mistreatment looks like so that they can stop the abuse immediately and ensure that their loved one can live in peace and comfort. If you want to know what the most common signs of abuse are in a nursing home, then read on to find out so you can take action without hesitation if you see the signs. 

Nearly two million Americans reside in long-term care facilities. These are places that are supposed to be a safe haven for those who need rehabilitation or to live out their remaining years. But as an elder law lawyer explains, abuse and neglect at nursing homes are actually a national concern because it happens so prevalently. Federal nursing home regulations state that a resident has the right to be free from physical, emotional, sexual, and mental abuse, in addition to involuntary seclusion or corporal punishment.

Abuse is defined as any intentional infliction of injury, intimidation, unreasonable confinement, or lack of care or punishment that causes mental anguish or physical pain. Neglect is failing to, whether intentional or not, to offer someone the services and care they need to ensure freedom from pain or harm. Neglect also entails situations where there was a failure to react to a dangerous situation that resulted in the resident becoming anxious or sustaining an injury.

There are various forms of abuse and neglect that can happen, such as assault and battery, deprivation of food or water, lack of medical care, and the use of chemical or physical restraints that are not consistent or approved by a doctor, among others. Signs of verbal or physical abuse can include dehydration, bed injuries, being emotionally upset, withdrawn, not communicative, infections, broken bones, head injuries, malnutrition, wandering, pressure ulcers, rapid weight loss, sudden weight gain, malnutrition, hesitant to speak in the presence of a certain staff member, unexplained injuries, unsanitary conditions, exhibiting self-soothing behaviors, wanting to be isolated, and more. 

If you observe any of the above symptoms in your senior loved one while living at a nursing home facility, time is of the essence to respond to the situation. Your relative should be safely relocated without delay, police must be notified, and the offending parties held liable. Your lawyer, such as a team member at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, can investigate further and potentially uncover evidence that supports abuse or neglect claims. Imagining an elderly loved one being abused while under the care of someone who was supposed to treat them kindly and compassionately can be disturbing. That is why family members who notice something is awry should not hesitate to get involved and must come to the aid of their relative as soon as possible.