Nobody wants to picture their senior loved one being mistreated. Victims may be left with serious injury and mental trauma that is sometimes difficult to overcome. Family members may be in shock to learn that their senior relative is being mistreated which then results in a broken trust between the family and the nursing home facility. However, it is important to know that in cases of possible nursing home abuse and neglect, there are legal means in place to allow family members to pursue justice and compensation on behalf of their loved one. The following are signs to look for which could indicate potential nursing home abuse and neglect and may therefore require further investigation.
General Evidence of Abuse
Signs of nursing home mistreatment can be subtle or can be more obvious depending on the situation. Typically, general evidence of abuse can include bruising (such as welts or scars on the body), unexplained injuries (such as broken bones, sprains, and /or dislocations), signs of forced restraint (such as rope marks on wrists), or if a caregiver is reluctant to let a family member be alone with their senior relative. In addition to signs of physical abuse, it is important to consider possible emotional abuse as well. Family members are encouraged to be involved in their loved one’s care and are further encouraged to visit their loved one frequently as ways to minimize the risk of nursing home mistreatment towards their loved ones. If signs of mistreatment are present, family members are strongly advised to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer for further investigation and intervention.
General Evidence of Neglect
Caregiver neglect at a nursing home can take on many forms, which can include unsafe living conditions, a senior resident being inappropriately dressed for the weather, leaving a resident alone in a public space when assistance is needed, failing to bathe the resident and/or failing to provide proper hygiene measures, the presence of bedsores (from not being turned regularly), and/or a senior resident’s unusual amount of weight loss. Nursing home neglect is different than nursing home abuse because neglect is the failure to provide the appropriate care to a nursing home resident separate and apart from any physical or emotional harm.
In addition to neglect and abuse, seniors living in a nursing home facility could also be financially taken advantage of by caregivers with access to a senior resident’s finances. In these situations, caregivers can abuse their power by making unapproved and unauthorized transactions, performing unauthorized ATM withdrawals or even changing estate planning documents (such as power of attorney, titles or wills and/or insurance policies). As our friends at Cohen & Cohen would agree, if you notice any unusual financial transactions or sudden changes to estate plan documents, or if your loved one suffered injuries as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect, it may be time to recruit help from an experienced legal team for intervention and further investigation.