Recognizing Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

When you place your loved one in a nursing home, you hope and expect that they will be safe, properly cared for, and treated with kindness. Although many long-term care facilities provide excellent care, nursing home abuse and neglect are distressing realities that occur with shocking frequency.

In fact, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), up to 5 million older Americans suffer abuse every year. Many of these victims reside in nursing home facilities. Recognizing the signs of abuse and neglect is essential for protecting the well-being of your loved ones and holding facilities accountable for their duty of care.

Physical Signs of Abuse

Physical signs of abuse can include unexplained injuries such as bruises, fractures, or lacerations, as well as frequent injuries that are attributed to accidents or falls. In some cases, there may be a sudden change in the resident’s behavior or demeanor, such as fearfulness, withdrawal, or a reluctance to communicate with staff or family members. It’s important to be vigilant in observing any unexplained physical injuries or changes in your loved one’s behavior and to seek immediate medical and legal assistance if abuse is suspected.

Emotional and Psychological Signs

Emotional and psychological signs of abuse and neglect can manifest in various ways, including depression, anxiety, fear, or uncharacteristic agitation. Your loved one may exhibit signs of emotional distress or withdrawal, including reluctance to engage in social activities or communicate openly about their experiences in the facility. It’s important to maintain open communication with your loved one and to be attentive to any changes in their emotional well-being, as these can be important indicators of potential abuse.

Poor Hygiene and Unsanitary Conditions

Neglect in a nursing home setting can often be identified through poor hygiene and unsanitary living conditions. Pay attention to any signs of inadequate personal hygiene, unwashed clothing, soiled bedding, or unclean living spaces. In addition, unexplained weight loss, dehydration, or malnutrition can be indicators of neglect and insufficient care provided by the facility.

Medication Mismanagement

Mismanagement of medication is a serious form of neglect that can have detrimental effects on residents’ health and well-being. Signs of medication mismanagement can include receiving the wrong medication, incorrect dosages, or irregular administration of prescribed medications. It’s important to monitor your loved one’s medication regimen and to report any concerns about medication errors or inconsistencies to the facility’s management and healthcare providers.

Unexplained Financial Transactions

Financial abuse is a form of exploitation that can occur in nursing home settings, often targeting vulnerable residents who may be unable to manage their financial affairs independently. This can include unauthorized or unexplained financial transactions, changes to wills or powers of attorney, or missing personal belongings or funds. If you notice any irregularities related to your loved one’s finances, it’s essential to address these concerns immediately and seek legal counsel to explore your options for protecting their assets and rights.

Legal Recourse for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s critical to take immediate action to protect their well-being and pursue accountability for the responsible parties. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our team of experienced attorneys specializes in advocating for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect, and we are dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive the support and justice they deserve.

If you have concerns about the care your loved one is receiving in a nursing home facility, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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