Nursing Home Abuse: How To Protect Your Loved One
According to statistics, between 700,000 to 1.2 million seniors on average have experienced some form of nursing home abuse in the US. Shocking statistics such as these make many people with loved ones in nursing homes nervous. Therefore, it is more than imperative that the families of seniors monitor how well they are doing in any nursing home on a regular basis.
Nursing Home Abuse Signs
Understanding how to investigate the possibility of the abuse of a loved one in a nursing home begins with watching for warning signs, for instance:
- Unusual changes in behavior
- Bruising or bleeding
- Open wounds, infections, cuts or bed sores
- Abrasions and burns
- Sudden changes in weight
- Poor hygiene or soiling
- Hair loss
- Torn or stained bedding or clothing
Other more subtle signs of elder abuse may consist of:
- Unresponsiveness or apathy
- Strange or infantile behavior
- Emotional or physical withdrawal
- Missing personal items
- Unusual financial transactions
When these issues arise, the situation should be thoroughly investigated. Make a note of these signs and without making accusations, let the staff know that you are concerned for your loved one. If the staff does not respond appropriately or the situations continue, it is probably time to become more involved by enlisting the help of other family members or getting the advice of a lawyer. Researching sites online such as, www.virginia-personalinjurylawyer.com, can give you more information on your loved one’s rights in the case of elder abuse. Additionally, it may be necessary to move the senior to another residence immediately.
By all appearances, even a sparkling clean nursing home can have employees who regularly abuse the residents. Because they are frail and vulnerable, it is easy to pass off abuse as the consequence of getting old. This is why anyone contemplating placing a loved one in a nursing home facility should conduct thorough research beforehand. References and reviews should be taken into consideration, and you should speak with residents and the loved ones of other residents and make spot checks at unannounced times, morning, noon and night, and on different days.
Once a loved one is placed in any nursing facility, take note of how well they are doing by:
1. Visiting frequently and varying visitation times and days. Consider coming at meal time or when activities are scheduled.
2. Asking questions about nutrition, medications and activity routines. Form relationships with aides and acknowledge their help. Often, this can inspire better treatment.
3. Reviewing meal and medication schedules to ensure that loved ones are offered nutritious and delicious meals. Also make sure that their proper medications as ordered by doctors are properly administered.
4. Asking loved ones how they are being treated. If elderly individuals are being mistreated, they are sometimes embarrassed and may not share this information. Make them feel comfortable enough to tell the truth about how they feel. Make them aware that they know if someone is mistreating them it is never their fault.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Finding the best nursing home for your loved one can be challenging for many reasons. The most troublesome issue is that it is never possible to tell for certain whether or not loved ones will be treated poorly once entering the nursing home. Knowing how to spot signs and to protect loved ones is the key to having peace of mind. However, even the most diligent person can find that their loved one has been the unfortunate victim of elder abuse at a nursing home.
Anyone who suspects that their loved one or any other resident is being mistreated at a nursing home should seek the counsel of a qualified nursing home attorney as soon as possible for advice on how to proceed. This is the only way to ensure that a senior’s rights are truly represented in a satisfactory manner so that the issues are resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
Helping care for her elderly mother gives Nadine Swayne the compassion to offer this article to family members who suspect elder abuse of their loved one. Visit sites online such as, www.virginia-personalinjurylawyer.com, where you can find the legal help you need to protect the rights of your senior living in a nursing home. The attorneys at Price Benowitz LLP will aggressively fight for fair compensation and justice for their clients.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/4332388370/
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