As the American population ages, more and more nursing homes are facing an influx of new patients. To meet the demand, some nursing homes take shortcuts and don’t follow the proper procedures for doing background checks on their employees. While it’s understandable that it can be hard to find an adequate staff at a nursing home, it’s still no excuse for cutting corners with people’s loved ones and their very lives. This negligence often leads to the always tragic and shocking phenomenon of physical assault, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse in the nursing homes around the country. There’s no excuse for this type of behavior, and it should always be punished to the fullest extent of the law, both criminally and through civil suits.
Elderly people are one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States. Not only are they experiencing a decline in physical and mental functioning, but they are also more likely than other populations to be completely incapacitated by a disability, requiring near round the clock care. Some nursing homes live up to the high standards we expect and make sure that their vulnerable citizen populations are well cared for. Other nursing homes drop the ball entirely and have citizens inside that are suffering from horrific physical and mental abuse. If an elderly person is abused, they’re less likely to be able to speak out than other younger, healthier people.
To help fend off or at least detect this kind of abuse of your loved one, it’s vital that you regularly visit your loved one and see to it that they’re being cared for properly. Symptoms of abuse in nursing homes include frequent injuries to your loved one that don’t seem to have any other explanation (bruises, cuts, broken bones), mental signs that something may have happened to your loved one, such as a change of personality or a sense that they’re ashamed of something, weight loss, and an inability or refusal to explain what’s going on.
Sexual abuse is another kind of abuse going on in some very bad nursing homes. This might be as simple as touching your loved one inappropriately to even worse and more violating behaviors that simply have no justification and should never occur in a nursing home. Sometimes the elderly aren’t the only people in nursing homes. Younger disabled people may need care as well, and they’re more likely to be sexually abused than older residents. If you have a young family member in a nursing home, be on the lookout for the signs of sexual abuse and personnel who may be taking advantage of your loved one.
Personnel may abuse your loved one, but other people who visit the nursing home can also abuse your beloved family member. Whether it’s staff or visitors, it’s the staff who has the responsibility to spot and end any kind of abuse going on within the walls of the institution. These matters aren’t just civil matters. Any kind of physical abuse needs to be reported to local police authorities as well so that they can investigate the matter and keep other residents safe. Any kind of abuse that goes on within the institution will be the fault of the nursing home itself, not any visitors. So even if it’s a visitor, you can sue the nursing home itself for not stopping this kind of physical assault or negligent behavior.
Nursing homes have the responsibility of screening their employees in a thorough manner. They should do background checks, review their employment history and confirm that it’s true, and properly supervise and evaluate all personnel thoroughly and frequently. Visitors should sign in and regularly be reviewed as well, or at least supervised in some way while they’re within the walls of the nursing home. Staff of the nursing home owes this to the person you love. If you feel like your loved one was abused in a nursing home setting, whether it was physical assault or sexual abuse, then it’s time to call Zayed Law Offices. Our professional and knowledgeable attorneys are standing by ready to write all wrongs and get you the compensation you deserve. This was a serious event. Make them pay for it.