Visiting Your Loved One Over The Holidays? Look For These Top Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

November 23, 2015  |  Serious Accidents, Nursing Home Abuse

It’s that time again: Nursing homes are getting busier and busier as family members visit their elderly loved ones in nursing homes. It all starts with Thanksgiving and carries on into the New Year.

Enjoy your time together — but also make some time to make sure your elderly loved one is safe. Your insight will help protect your loved one even when the holidays are over and you are not around as often.

All you have to do is keep these four signs of nursing home abuse in mind. Then, if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, contact us or give us a call at 866-612-0246.

1. The Obvious

Things like punching, kicking, hitting, slapping, throwing, scratching and choking do not just occur in movies. They happen in nursing homes, much more often than you’d ever imagine.

Shockingly, these forms of abuse may not occur by accident, and they may not even occur because of a resident’s poor training or inability to keep up with the demands of working in a nursing home. In fact, there are cases of severe physical abuse that occur because of both dangerous and abusive staff, as well as a system that fails to monitor and suspend dangerous staff members.

Unnecessary physical and chemical restraints are also considered physical abuse. Check for bruising around arms or marked drowsiness or confusion.

2. The Not-So-Obvious

Emotional Abuse. Sexual Abuse. Medical Neglect. These are all instances that may be deadly to your loved one. They also all tend to occur in secret.

Signs of Emotional Abuse may first be detected in your elderly loved one if they suddenly “shut down” or “turn off” emotionally or display a dramatic shift in mood, emotional abuse may be at play.

Signs of Sexual Abuse include bruises and cuts around breasts and genital areas, as well as marked changes in mood.

Signs of Medical Neglect include serious medical complications from missed medication or failure to timely diagnose or administer proper medication or treatment.

3. The Should-Be’s

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  • All areas of the facility including private rooms should be well-maintained and clean.
  • Residents should receive help with getting around should they need it. Signs of not receiving this help include skin infections and pressure sores.
  • Residents should receive help using the toilet and bathing should they need it. Signs of not receiving this help include skin infections, increased odor, embarrassment incontinence and falls.
  • Residents should receive help with eating and drinking should they need it. Signs of not receiving this help include dehydration and malnutrition.
  • Staff should respond to all bell calls and cries for help. When they fail to do so, serious injuries or even death may occur. Signs of staff not helping residents when they may need it the most include residents who seem to have resigned to keeping quiet and keeping their pains to themselves.

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4. The Risk Factors

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  • Inadequate Staffing Levels
  • Constantly Rotating Staff
  • Poor Staff Training
  • Facilities With a History of Complaints or Poor Quality Scores

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Nursing home abuse and medical neglect may be occurring even when you don’t suspect it — even when you don’t hear any complaints from your loved one. Sometimes elderly residents are unable to make calls or are too fearful or embarrassed to alert you of their suffering. Other times, elderly residents might not want to make things harder on you or make you worry.

That means it’s often up to you to identify and respond to potential cases of nursing home abuse and medical neglect.

What Now?

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney at Baron and Budd online or call us anytime at 866-612-0246 if you suspect your elderly loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home.Remember, there are legal requirements for nursing homes. And then there’s what really happens inside nursing homes. We can help make sure your loved one is safe.

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