Warning Signs Of Abuse Or Neglect In Nursing Homes
When your loved one is in a professional care facility, you can’t keep your eye on them around the clock. That’s why they’re in a facility to begin with. However, in some unfortunate situations, red flags can start to surface. You might develop suspicions that your loved one is being mistreated or abused.
When you try to raise concerns, you might get brushed off. Staff members may even try to discourage you from visiting or shut you out. Meanwhile, because your loved one is suffering from physical and mental vulnerabilities, they might not be able to articulate what’s wrong.
Physical Symptoms Of Abuse Or Neglect
Spotting the physical signs of abuse may not be as simple as you expect it to be. Common physical signs of abuse and neglect often include:
- Bedsores: These injuries can initially appear to be a bruise but can develop into major wounds if the neglect is prolonged.
- Rapid weight loss: If the staff in a nursing home is not paying close enough attention to a resident to ensure they are eating or they are not properly feeding them, weight loss is soon to follow.
- Unexplained bruises, fractures or other injuries: Many forms of physical abuse leave marks on the victim. Nursing home staff may try to convince a resident’s family that the injuries are the result of a fall or other accident.
- Deteriorating health: When a resident is suffering from abuse or neglect, their health condition can worsen in many ways. Make sure not to dismiss these signs as symptoms of another condition your loved one already has.
The nursing home staff member who caused these injuries may even go as far as to limit the time you have with your loved one or supervise the visits to keep the resident from exposing the abuse. Make sure to keep a sharp eye out for these signs.
Nonphysical Symptoms Of Abuse Or Neglect
Other signs of abuse and neglect can develop mentally or emotionally, such as:
- Increasing isolation: A resident may begin hiding or isolating themselves to avoid abusive staff members in a nursing home.
- Acting out or behaving in uncharacteristic ways: Abuse or neglect over a long period of time can change a normally upbeat and happy resident into someone more sullen or depressed.
- Change in mental status: Some forms of harm can even cause a resident to become more confused or forgetful and even worsen mental conditions that were already present.
- Lack of communication by staff: When staff members feel guilty about their actions or want to avoid suspicion for abuse or neglect, they may begin to limit communication with the resident and their family.
While it may be hard to see these signs of abuse or neglect, it is possible. Watch out for any irregularities in your loved one to help stop abuse or neglect as soon as possible.
Nursing Homes May Not Admit Wrongdoing
When you confront the staff at a nursing home about potential abuse or neglect, it is only natural for them to deny any accusation. They may try and convince you that any injuries were simply a mistake by the resident or that you do not have any legal authority to file a claim against them. Never make the mistake of taking these words at face value. Before giving up on seeking justice for your loved one, consult with one of our attorneys to verify whether you have a case and what you can do to hold the liable party accountable for their actions.
Placing Responsibility Where It Belongs
At Ford, Dean & Rotundo, P.A., we understand how hard it is to place a loved one in a nursing home, assisted living facility or other care center. You only want what’s best for them. You’re horrified to think that they may now be suffering because of that decision.
However, it’s not your fault. Negligence and abuse can lurk behind even the most promising of facades when you’re looking at care facilities. Deep-seated problems may not come to light for months or even years.
Don’t Ignore Your Suspicions
If your loved one is showing any signs of abuse or neglect, don’t stay silent. Our attorneys will listen to your concerns and give them the weight they deserve. They can help you pursue an investigation and file a complaint with the appropriate agencies. If warranted, our lawyers can also file a lawsuit against the perpetrator and the facility itself.