Nursing home neglect and abuse is an unfortunately common occurrence throughout the United States. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse Administration on Aging, recent studies have shown that between 7 and 10 percent of participants were the victims of elder abuse, amounting to staggering numbers.
Because this is such a widespread problem, if you have placed your elderly loved one in the care of another, it is important that you monitor them regularly in order to watch for abuse. Here are a few details to look for, and what you can do to stop the mistreatment of your loved ones.
One of the most common signs of elder abuse is that of apparent physical injuries. According to the Administration on Aging, you should make sure to look for unexplained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores, or burns. Also pay attention for symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases.
Signs of Neglect
Another common sign of abuse is that of neglect, which often manifests itself in lack of basic hygiene and clothing, malnutrition, dehydration, or even the lack of basic amenities within the room or facility occupied by your loved one. An elderly resident left unsupervised would also be considered a victim of neglect.
What You Can Do
The above is only a small sample of what constitutes nursing home abuse or neglect. If you suspect that your loved one is at risk, there are a few things you should do immediately to help:
- In case of serious emergency, call 911 immediately. If your loved one is in imminent danger, this is the quickest way to prevent it entirely;
- Speak to your loved one. Unless they suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or another cognitive disease, they may be able to provide information or details about the possible abuse. Look for signs of lying (avoiding eye contact, poor remembrance of details), as they may have been intimidated by a caretaker in order to not tell the truth;
- Discuss your concerns with the nursing home administration. In many cases, it is only the staff that is participating in the abuse, and they may be reprimanded for their actions by their superiors if these incidents come to light;
- Call your state elder abuse hotline. The National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence provides a list of elder abuse hotlines by state, which you can call at any time to report the abuse of your loved one in their care facility.
Furthermore, in order to prevent any future elder abuse or neglect from happening to your loved one it may be prudent to remove them from the care facility entirely. This is a proactive step that may help you avoid any devastating consequences for your elderly loved one.
Speak Out Against Elder Abuse
The elderly are one the most vulnerable populations in the United States, which often leads them to being abused and neglected when placed in the care of others. If you suspect that your loved one has been abused or neglected in their nursing home, make sure to look for these signs, and contact help immediately to avoid any additional problems.
At Tate Law Offices, we do not take nursing home neglect and abuse lightly and will seek to maximize the value of your injury claim against the defendants. Call us today at 888-662-3892 for a free consultation if you suspect your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected.