Nursing home abuse and neglect are on the rise in the United States. It is always a difficult and challenging decision to place an elderly loved one into a nursing home. However, every nursing home has a legal obligation to care for its residents. Recognizing the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect in a nursing home can help you ensure that your loved one is always safe.
Signs of Elder Abuse
There are four common signs of elder abuse and neglect in a nursing home. Unfortunately, abuse to elders in nursing homes is oftentimes underreported. Understanding the signs can help you take action quickly if you believe your elderly loved is suffering from any form of abuse or neglect.
- Physical Changes Any physical changes of your elderly loved ones that are unexplainable should be a cause for concern. For example, unexplained broken bones, infections, dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores, bruises, physical markings, injuries to the genital area or newly developed sexually transmitted disease should be investigated immediately. Other physical changes could be a lack of personal hygiene, changes to sleeping habits, torn or ripped clothing or signs of overmedication.
- Emotional Changes Many elderly residents of a nursing home suffer from cognitive medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, in other cases, you may notice severe emotional changes in your elderly loved one that may be a sign of abuse or neglect. If you notice sudden outbursts of anger, withdrawal, lack of interest in social activities, nightmares, fear around certain caregivers at the nursing home, rocking, childlike behavior or any other abnormal emotional changes, it could be a reaction to nursing home abuse.
- Financial Changes In most cases, nursing home residents will have all of their finances taken care of by their family members. However, if your elderly loved one still has control over some of their finances or estate planning documents and you notice money missing or that the beneficiary for the last will and testament has recently changed, there may be a nursing home employee manipulating your loved one.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Your loved one deserves respect. If you suspect any nursing home abuse has occurred, or if your phone calls are going unanswered at a nursing home, or if you are being prevented from seeing your elderly loved one, you should consider whether they are being abused or neglected. These cases are time-sensitive, as many elderly residents have fading memories. NYC personal injury lawyer Michael J. Redenburg, we can help you understand the legal rights of your elderly loved one, and help you determine your next steps. Contact us today at (212)-240-9465 or online.