For many families, learning that their loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect while in the care of a nursing home is a heartbreaking and traumatic experience. Nursing homes are supposed to be safe havens for the elderly and those unable to care for themselves. When this trust is broken, the pain and suffering of victims and their families can be tremendous.
Unfortunately, victims and their families may also feel lost and confused as to where to turn for help. We are here to help. We can guide you through the process of protecting your loved one’s legal rights and help obtain the compensation that he or she deserves.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing home abuse can appear in several forms. The different types of abuse that may occur include the following:
- Emotional abuse – When a caregiver causes emotional distress within a victim, such as through ridicule and humiliation, intimidation, or terrorizing.
- Physical Abuse- When a caregiver physically mistreats or neglects the needs of the patient, whether it be hitting or other physical attack, or failure to provide medication, or neglecting the needs of the patient that leads to physical injury.
- Sexual abuse – When a non-consensual sexual contact is made with an elder. Sexual abuse is often accompanied by trickery, coercion, manipulation, and force.
- Financial abuse – When a caregiver steals money or personal property from an elder. Financial abuse can also occur when a caregiver tricks or pressures an elder to divulge personal information such as bank accounts and credit card numbers, or when an elder is coerced into modifying a deed, will, or trust.
Neglect occurs as a result of an elder not receiving proper attention. It can occur in any of the following ways:
- Failing to meet a person’s personal hygiene needs
- Failing to meet a person’s basic physical needs
- Failing to meet a person’s medical needs
- Failing to meet a person’s emotional needs
If you suspect that abuse or neglect may be taking place, it is crucial to act quickly. Your loved one’s health and well-being likely depends on it.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse Injuries
As a result of abuse or neglect in a nursing home setting, victims may experience many different types of injuries. Common examples include the following:
- Medication errors
- Pressure ulcers
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Broken bones, bruises, or lacerations from falling or improper transportation
- Injuries relating to sexual abuse
If you suspect that your loved one may be abused or neglected, it is important to keep a watchful eye for any of the tell-tale signs that this type of behavior is taking place. Common signs of abuse include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Stained or soiled clothing
- Changes in your loved one’s behavior
- Staff not allowing you to see your loved one at a certain time
- Staff not allowing you to be alone with a loved one
- Changes in your loved ones finances
- Missing belongings
What to Do If You Suspect Your Loved One Is a Victim
Since your loved one’s health may be at stake, it is crucial to act quickly when you believe that your loved one is being abused or neglected while in the care of a nursing home. Your first step should be to seek immediate medical treatment for any injuries. Your loved one may also need assistance from a therapist or mental health counselor for emotional abuse. It is important to document all of your loved one’s medical treatment and associated costs. In addition, it is crucial to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Shelly Leeke Law Firm, we help nursing home victims and their families. We strongly encourage you to contact us today at 1-888-690-0211, for a complimentary case evaluation over of the phone. If you have a nursing home abuse case, we will gladly meet you at your home or hospital, or one of our convenient office locations.