When you trust a nursing home with the care of your family member, you don’t expect that there will be any type of abuse that takes place. Unfortunately, there are several types of nursing home abuse that occur across the country. While some types are physical, you could also see financial, emotional, and sexual abuse among many others that are committed by nursing assistants and other workers at the facility. There are a few warning signs that you can pay attention to if you suspect that abuse is taking place, giving these details to an attorney who can begin a proper investigation into the acts that you believe are being committed.
During your visits to see your family members in a nursing home, you should ask a few questions to determine if there could be any alterations in the person’s mindset. If it seems like the person doesn’t want to talk or is afraid to speak with you and is usually talking during each visit, then there’s a possibility that something could have occurred. Talk to the person about any kind of pain that they might have or if anyone has been doing something in the room that seems odd.
If you’re unable to ask questions because the person is unable to talk, there are some details that you can look for with a quick view of the person’s body and environment. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the facility. The building should be sanitary, especially in the rooms so that residents have a clean and safe place to live. If the staff doesn’t care for the cleanliness of the facility, then it could indicate neglect in other areas. It can also lead to the spread of infections and other diseases that travel through unsanitary conditions.
Look for any signs of weight loss. You also need to look to see if residents are receiving their meals during the day or if the facility offers snacks and other types of nutrition so that residents don’t get dehydrated or malnourished. A common sign of physical abuse would be broken bones that can’t be explained, bruises in odd areas of the body, and lacerations. If you see any of these physical signs, talk to a nurse to find out if the person could have fallen or if something else occurred. However, most facilities will contact the family if someone falls or is injured. If you haven’t received any type of contact and notice that there appear to be several bruises or other physical signs, some that appear older than others, then consider consulting with an attorney. Take pictures of the signs that you see so that you can show them to the attorney when you meet. Sometimes, physical injuries can result in an unexplained death. If you suspect that abuse could have taken place before the person’s death, then you need to give all of these details to the attorney to try to formulate a claim against the facility if possible.
Financial abuse is common in nursing homes as well. Some workers have access to the bank accounts of residents and will make charges on credit and debit cards or take money from accounts. Check the room for any signs that personal property is missing, especially jewelry or items that have value as they could be sold for money. Look or any medications that are missing or any medications that aren’t being given as they should. This would lead to a physical injury if the person doesn’t receive medications on a regular schedule. Pay attention to the emotional well-being of your family member. Sometimes, those who have been abused stopped leaving their room and stop associating with other people. You might notice the person being angry for no reason or crying all the time, especially when the person is touched.
If you have a family member in a nursing home, try to visit as much as you can so that you can note any significant changes. It can also deter abuse from taking place. If the workers know that you’re frequently there during the week, then they usually won’t be as likely to commit an abusive act. Sometimes, other family members or other residents who are in the facility can commit nursing home abuse, which is why you need to know the warning signs if you suspect anything before you seek the assistance of an attorney.